Practicing “Yes”!

Never in a million years did I think that I would be steering a snowmobile, let alone enjoying the heck out of it! Snowmobiles are loud, smelly, dangerous machines. Only inconsiderate trail hogs ride them… right? Until I met my husband this is what I thought. I have learned so much from the sweet sweet man I married. So many of my preconceived ideas about people and things have been blown wide open. So, I find myself always being delighted by a discovery of a new part of myself, just recently, I found the part of myself that likes to speed across snowy landscapes on a loud, smelly, totally exciting snowmobile.

I went snowmobiling because it is so important to my husband, he loves being out in a field or on a hill, running free. He is one of the kindest, most considerate people I have ever met, so I had to re-think my idea of the whole snowmobile crowd.

Like any activity involving other human beings, there ARE the inconsiderate trail hogs among the snowmobile crowd, but I learned on Sunday that there is actually quite a bit of trail etiquette. There are ways that trail riders tell each other how many are in a group and like with any moving vehicle, there are “rules of the road”. Who knew?!

I’ll admit, my first few minutes on the snowmobile behind my sweetie were much as I suspected, loud, smelly, scary. I couldn’t see much, my helmet kept bumping into his helmet… I was afraid I would flip off the back, so I was tense and grabby. There was no way I was going to enjoy this. But then, we weren’t going up hill any more and I wasn’t about to fly off the back, and we went over some bumps, and I actually felt a giggle bubble up….

We entered a field, stopped, and my father in law said I should take a turn on the smaller sled (insider lingo for snowmobile….). My first thought was “no way”!, my usual response when feeling nervous or unprepared in a new situation, and then I thought, this is something I don’t want to regret because I didn’t try.

Too much of my life has been “no”, because I am afraid, or anxious. Afraid of looking stupid, anxious I won’t be able to do something well the first time I try.

It’s true, one should not take a snowmobile lightly, they are large, powerful, dangerous machines. But I was in a wide open field, with two men I totally trust, who are not foolish daredevils. They would not let me be unsafe. I had a helmet… So I said ok, and asked, how does this work? It is very simple: squeezing the lever on the right handle makes the sled go forward, and squeezing the lever on the left handle makes the sled stop . Before I knew it, I was inching, and then zooming, (I never quite got to tearing…) across the snow. I was exhilarated. Yes, it was the snowmobile itself that thrilled me, AND it was because I had stepped firmly out into territory that was totally alien and WAY beyond where I had been previously comfortable.

I had decided that staying “safe” and not risking embarrassment was not the course of action that I wanted for myself. I stretched in a new direction and it was marvelous. I doubt I’ll be tearing up the snow every weekend, but I would like to try again, and I am thinking that there are so many things I need to try without worrying about feeling embarrassed or afraid.

Karaoke anyone?

Author: Rebecca Crummey

I am an Episcopal priest, photographer, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, friend, yoga enthusiast, and foodie.

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