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NOV. 24, 2014

The First Drop

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Marlin Sill, Wilderness Program Manager

About 6 months ago, I prepared myself to board a plane with 40 stranger destined for a country where I neither spoke the language, nor fully understood the culture.  And at the brink, at the moment where I thought about turning tailing, unpacking my bag and locking myself in my room, I found a small simple gift that changed my world.

I palmed the soft red cloth for a moment trying to remember what it was.  A “fortune cookie” , but not one I could eat.  It was a Wohelo gift I had received one summer and wrapped in the deep red fabric was a small piece of paper.  And on that paper were words enough to give me the courage to step on that plane onto another adventure.

That moment of no return, the one where you know you can’t hit stop even if you wanted to.  That’s the best and worst feeling all at once.  It the same one you get on the first drop of a roller coaster.  All the preamble and clacking silences as you glide slowly to the edge.  And then for a moment, just one moment, you pause, and the verge of thrill, at the precipice of anxiety, the edge of adventure.  It’s there at that moment where you feel the world beneath you and all the momentum at your back that you feel the sinking in your stomach.  The weight reality gripping your gut as it prepares to soar into your throat.

It’s that same feeling that tells me I’ve gotten myself into something big.  Whether its boarding a plane to a far away land, or perched at the drop into a powdered run, I know I’ve found the edge.  And it’s the ability to ride that edge and flirt with the boundaries of comfort and thrill that keeps me knowing I’m living my life to fullest.

So the next time you think, “I want to go to the Philipines” or “Skydiving looks fun”.  Don’t think about the “what ifs”  and the “who says what”.  Follow your dreams and know that if you are at that precipice ready to turn, you have the courage to take the leap.  And if you aren’t sure you have the courage, there is just one thing I want to know:

“I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool. For love, for your dreams, for the adventures of being alive.”

Marlin Sill, Wilderness Program Manager