• Wis Outdoor Explorer

Face Your Fears

I've always wanted to go up in a hot air balloon. But my fear of heights has kept me away.

It’s Halloween time. Time for spooky houses, scary stories and doing things that scare you. But why only do something that scares you once a year? Why not do something that pushes you out of your comfort zone more often than that? I think sometimes in life, we get stuck in routines. We get up, we go to work or school, we come home, do a few things around the house before bed and we repeat. Then the weekend comes and maybe we go to the same lake to fish, bike the same route or limit yourself to only a handful of parks.

I’ve found that part of getting outdoors sometimes means you’re going to do things that maybe you’re not completely comfortable with or not sure how to do something or where to start. But when you limit yourself to just doing the same few things over and over, you may be missing out on some great things that Wisconsin has to offer.

Wisconsin is a very traditional state. As a Wisconsinite, we tend to be very predictable on the things we do. We tend to go to the same festivals, the same campgrounds and same locations every year. Don’t get me wrong, I’m the same way, I enjoy doing and experiencing the same things annually. There is a certain comfort in going to places that you’re familiar with and I understand that. But recently I’ve discovered in the past few years that I was missing out on some pretty great things because of my habits. And honestly because of my fear to change those habits. I was afraid that I was going to miss something from the places and things I was familiar with because I wouldn’t be there.

But this is about more than just going to a new festival or hiking a new trail. It’s about trying new things. Trying something you’ve always wanted to do, but were maybe just a little scared to do. It’s a little like putting together a bucket list that maybe you’re a little afraid to finish. Let me give you an example. I’m not a fan of heights. But I’ve always wanted to experience what it’s like to float in a hot air balloon. I’m not really sure I could handle it. When I think about standing in that little box with nothing more than a balloon holding me above the ground, I can feel the anxiety starting to set in. But it’s something that I think about every time I see one and I wonder if I might be missing and incredible experience. So this is one thing that I’m going to try to do before next Halloween. I’m want to conquer my fear and float over the land in a hot air balloon.

And that’s my challenge to you, find something that scares you a little bit, something that you might be a little afraid to do and do it. Push yourself to try something new and you may find out that you really enjoy doing it. I’m not asking you to endanger your life. I wouldn’t do anything that extreme and I don’t expect you to either. But maybe you’d like to try skiing by the lift chairs always scared you a little. Maybe you’ve always wanted to go tent camping but were always afraid of those things that crawl into the night sneaking into your tent. What ever it is, do a little research, find a friend that has experience, or just take the plunge and do it.

After all, isn’t that what life is all about? Enjoy the experience of trying something new. You may find you really like it or you may find you don’t care for it and would never do it again. Whatever you try, do it with enthusiasm as one of Wisconsin’s Outdoor Explorers.

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