Prudence vs. imprudence. Cautious vs. carefree. Sober vs. impulsive. Who isn’t a bit of both? I tend to enjoy being impetuous at times, but I do know my limits, I think.
A couple of years ago my sister and I went on a four-day cruise to the Bahamas. When we got off the boat in Nassau, a bit unsure of what we wanted to do, I spotted motorbikes zipping around. I’d never ridden one (I had tried a mo-ped), and I thought that looked like fun. My sister reluctantly agreed, and we paid for our rides. We had a quick lesson in a parking lot — a bit trickier than I thought, but I knew it was manageable, and I was determined. (I was 65 — how much longer would I be able to attempt something like this.) We took a simple route along the water, getting out of the busy town, stopping at an historical monument, enjoying the feeling of the warm wind in our faces. We did get better as we went along and stopped for a quick swim at a beautiful beach with shallow, clear water. Wending our way back, we got just a bit nervous as the traffic into town got heavier. I think the bike’s owners were relieved when we returned the motorbikes on time, and in original condition.
Afterwards I reflected on my spur-of-the-moment decision. On the one hand it was just plain foolish to try something relatively dangerous (a fall could have been quite serious for either of us, though my sister is younger by 6 years), but on the other, why not? I like to learn new things, and while I don’t much like roughing it, I do like an adventure. This was fulfilling for me and I would have regretted not accepting the challenge, getting a little out of my comfort zone.
With age advancing on me far too rapidly, I respect my limitations, but I want to keep pushing myself to have new adventures and achievements. Or maybe the older I get, the crazier I’ll get. We’ll see.