I was so nervous for our first long hike. I went to Subway the night before to order breakfast and lunch sammies and woke up early to make sausages with cheese grits. I was heckled for shoving my backpack full of beer, light jackets, macaroons, water, and a Tupperware container full of that southern delight I had planned for. We started out at Lobo Overlook in freezing temperatures of early October in Colorado. I had my hiking poles, my Goretex, and some snowboots I had just bought because I spaced my hiking boots.
I was so nervous for my first summit of Pagosa Peak. I had failed a few times by now and decided to set out early, by myself. It was the summer of the solar eclipse and I had a fight with my boyfriend who was headed to Wyoming for the total eclipse. I stayed for my total transformation. I ended up meeting a new friend at the trail and I lent him my eclipse glasses at the top while he showed me his makeshift index card with a tiny pinhole in the middle. We are still friends and the universe knew that day that I was ready to summit.
I was so nervous for my first boating trip down the Grand Canyon. I still can’t tie a half hitch knot and there were a few harrowing moments when that skill set would have been of great use. I didn’t quite know what to expect and found myself in complete peace as I slept on the giant Yeti cooler each night brushing my teeth with the sandy water of the Colorado. I worked hard each day and found myself running out of tobacco towards the end of the trip. I made friends with a wonderful unassuming boy who works on a horse ranch. I will never forget that time.
I was so nervous for my first 20 mile run with a friend who was preparing to race the Leadville 100. We had been building up for weeks and decided to run the Piedra River Trail. I had run with this group before, leading negative splits fueled by fear and passion. I started to PR and set records on local courses trying so hard to keep running, albeit slow, up any hill I could find. I met amazing women runners, some of who wanted to be vulnerable and some who kept their cards close to their heart. I would run in raggedy shirts, pants, and shoes and hold my ground because running is free. I am free.
I was so nervous to teach my first yoga class in Pagosa but I taught the only way I knew how. From my heart and with my healing elements. Folks would come and go but I would make a stupid joke and follow it with my shot-gun laugh and know that I was vulnerable. I would hear disastrous news before a class and breathe to set it all aside. I would tell of my knowledge of all the forms of yoga and relate my form of yoga to the class. When a cat pukes on the floor—its yoga. We started a little group after class where we would go sing the lyrics to vintage songs in the local bar and not care what anybody thinks.
I am so nervous to leave my home. I’m a simple kind of woman (Lynrd Skynrd why didn’t you write that?) and value a home-base very much. I think of any Everest climb and how home base is spiritually on the summit. I’ve been climbing, climbing, scared and I think of the folks at base camp who put so much good energy into the summit. A journey, an adventure, at the top of the world where your problems are in the valley below. The descent lets all the tension go, the departure from the peak fills the void that exists in all of our hearts.
“Smile, breathe, and go slowly.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh