Everest, the ride at Animal Kingdom to be precise. Many years ago I remember standing in front of that ride while it was being built and thinking “I want to go on that some day”. I also remember the very thought causing my pulse to race. As much as I wanted to do it, I was so scared of it. Which is a terrible way to live, not doing something you really want to just because the thought makes you panic ever so slightly.
Fast forward 14 years or so and I have now ridden Everest at least 3 or 4 times. Each time gets easier and each time I find myself keeping my eyes open more and laughing more. While I had to make the decision to just get on the ride and not let that racing pulse keep me away, I can honestly say I don’t believe I would have done it without having the right person beside me (and to be a total mush, I can say the person I ride this with is the only person who could have gotten me on this ride). There are more Everest rides to come and eventually some “real” coasters coming. At this point though I am proud to say that I have ridden multiple rides with this amazing guy by my side. Keeping me laughing while we wait in line, making me look around on the ride, and getting excited with me when I am beyond excited for my tiny victories of enjoying the rides more each time.
At this point in my life I am at one of the best places I have been in so many ways. There are still better places and better versions of me to come. Because life is ever changing, there are always new challenges, and more ways to grow. I get more excited about it the more I think about it. How the learning, the becoming never stops! I was 42 the first time I rode Everest, a ride I wanted to ride for so long. I was 44 when I kept my eyes wide open as we approached the top of the ride. Who knows what 45 will bring, but I hope it brings more breaking through my own fears and laughing as I do it.
Maybe one day I will make it to the actual Everest to do some exploring.or maybe I won’t. As long as I make it to places I have always wanted to go and continue to create the me I want to be then I think that is enough.
If you had told me that I would eventually meet someone that I trusted enough to get on some of these rides with I would have laughed at you. Yet, here I am today after having been on these rides multiple times with that someone. When I start feeling stuck or like there is something I cannot do I just remember that the things I have thought were impossible that have come to be. While it is cool to conquer these things on my own it is even cooler to share that with someone. Because when I conquer these fears I feel like a champion and can’t wait to share that victory!
Whatever your Everest is, you can conquer it and learn to enjoy it. For most of us there is more than one Everest in our life. You can conquer them all. Life is constantly reminding me of this.
Never stop becoming.