29. Because I Can!

29. Because I Can!

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: My Resolution

Because I Can!

You only live once; but if you live it right, once is enough.
~Adam Marshall

“What was I thinking? I must be some kind of fool!” I’m a fifty-three-year-old grandma crouched in an awkward position reminiscent of giving birth, perched before an open gate on a zip line platform high up in the hills above Maui’s northwest coast, seemingly to plunge to my death. Again, I asked myself, “What was I thinking?”

Instead of living in the moment of joyous anticipation of flying like an eagle, I was experiencing some setbacks. I mean, coming in dead last in the walk up a hill while carrying a twenty-pound zip line cable trolley, and smelling like a goat, was mortifying and certainly didn’t qualify as one of my finer moments. The brochure didn’t say anything about that little hike. And the red welts growing exponentially on my shin from invisible flesh eating entities that burned, really burned, were certainly unattractive. Though, to be honest, the attack of the no-see-ems earned me the moniker of the group’s “good sport” which I liked. But so far, this adventure wasn’t fun — it was crazy. The near jarring of my teeth from their sockets on my first crash landing reminded me, this would not be good for me three more times.

I could have slept in, I could have had Sunday brunch with friends, and I could have taken a beautiful morning walk on one of Maui’s incredible beaches. But Nooooooooooo; I had to fly through trees; I had to soar like an eagle; I had to stretch myself and do something I’ve never done before. Why?

Because I could! Because for the first time in my adult life, I met the weight requirements to go zip lining, and I had a point to prove — I CAN do anything I set my mind to. And if I can do it — so can any other overweight person on the planet who wants to change her life; hence, the childbirth crouch high atop a zip line.

I wasn’t at my goal weight yet, but I gained admission into this activity through 93 pounds kicked to the curb. While I was working on losing the rest of my physical weight by incorporating activities like zip lining into my life, I was also working hard on losing the weight in my head. Leaving the world of obesity behind mentally was proving to be just as difficult as the weight loss itself, so I started thinking and acting like a thin person.

The wondrous roar of waterfalls and melodious songs of tropical birds drifted up to me from the treetops below, and I found it difficult to contain my emotions. I threw back my head and arms in a moment of euphoric weightlessness as I raced forty-five miles an hour down the mountain. “Whoo-hoo! Look at me! I’m flying!” My spirit soared! I left those 93 pounds behind and flew full speed toward my new life.

~Jeri Chrysong

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