I knew this was going to happen if I left it up to you folks. We are so connected that you absolutely knew what I kinda wanted to do, but didn’t exactly have the balls to REALLY do. You totally saw through my poker face.
What the hell am I talking about?
The Jingos Live Bold Challenge and sending me up in a hot air balloon; that’s what.
I’m not mad, I am terrified and having a slight panic attack over being in a basket that high in the sky. Of course the balloons are colorful, but I know that’s just a ploy to make it look super fun when, in fact, I could fall out by breaking the basket. My booking even included a line item for me to input weight.
Great! I felt awesome about myself after that.
No one tells you that upon entering a death-defying experience, you’re probably going to have to suck it in. Oh, soft middle how you sometimes deal me a crappy hand. Usually this involves wicker and folding chairs. And, every once-a-decade, flight.
This month I will be in the sky twice. The hot air balloon ride is set for October 8th, so mark your calendars like this: “Liz Henry Falls From Sky” or “X Marks the Spot.” Then, two days later I will be in an actual plane flying to Atlanta, Georgia for the Aiming Low Non-Conference.
I stopped riding in planes shortly after I came back from Europe after 9/11. I credit my fear of flying to terrorism and giving birth.
They’re the perfect storm: motherhood and terrorism. Don’t you think they go together? Well, I do. I have terrible luck (just look at my life) and I felt that if I got on a plane again, I was a goner. Since I didn’t want to leave my child motherless, it revved up my dread of the sky.
I haven’t flown since.
All of that is about to change in a few short weeks. The other night I was thinking about sitting in a chair in the sky and my heart ran down the block – and because it’s all clogged with fries – it stopped for a few seconds and then hoofed it to the finishing line. That’s basically what a panic attack looks like: me running around the track — but I’m not actually running, I’m walking — and I get all Irish and red in the cheeks, so I look like a swampy leprechaun.
It’s terrible. And there is no gold at the end of the rainbow.
What a let down.
But, on the other hand, I’m willing to take a chance and not let being scared stop me. I’m in; up for the challenge and all that. Ready to hedge my bets that I come out on the side of Still Alive. And maybe even more alive than ever, feeling like I really went and did something in October.
I lived a little.