We stood 20' from the edge of a cliff, nearly 1700' above sea level just south of Ipanema. The view couldn't have been more stunning. The drive up the mountain to the launch point couldn't have been more harrowing. And, it was my last day in Rio de Janeiro, my mom had recently died, and I was ready, no matter what happened.
We belted ourselves into harnesses, then to the glider, and soon, after safety checks, we were ready. Of my group, I was the first. My brain hit auto-pilot: Whatever you do, don't stop running. (And breathe!)
When my friends first suggested this, I wanted to say no. Which meant I had to say yes.
Today, when I think I can't do something, or I feel uncertain, or a little scared, I remember these words and think about Rio. To say yes, even if it scares me.
As Hunter S. Thompson said, "Buy the ticket. Take the ride." Life would be a lot less interesting if you didn't take the ride at least some of the time. If we say "yes" often enough, even when our wobbly insides want us to say no, we build resilience.
So don't stop.
That's our option right now. While this ticket was foisted upon us--the cluster that is a pandemic, a recession, and political theatre--it's up to us how we get through it. We can choose to dig in, resist, and refuse to accept what is, or we can adapt, adopt, and change. I know that's not easy for everyone, as many are experiencing true hardship right now. However, with the resilience we've built, we can also help others.
That flight over the white sandy beach and azure South Atlantic was extraordinary. We caught some thermals and glided through the air before gently landing on the beach.
I know that not every landing is soft, but I do know they get easier with practice.
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