Well, sorry to disappoint but it is not really that extreme. For me it was (but all other thrillseeker adrenaline junkies out there, my actions are probably just a walk in the park) In the past few months though I?ve done two things that I have never done before-nor really had ever considered doing!
The reason why I am so proud of myself is?because?these activities are not in my ?normal? character.
I tend to over think things?.a lot.
I analyse and?premeditate?all possible outcomes of a situation.
I?m a perfectionist AND I don?t like doing something unless I know how to execute them correctly.
I enjoy activities with rules and regulations (maybe that is why I enjoyed over 20 years of Ballet!)
Both activities throw a little caution to the wind, they are adventerous and some might say even a little dangerous!
When we got the opportunity to go Quad Biking for free I was a little hesitant. Still, I was excited, I had seen friends go on them before and it did look pretty fun.
The morning of our Quad Bike Tour I was mulling over how I would go. When I first saw the bikes my heart began to beat a little faster they seem so much bigger than I had originally thought. Then, my palms got sweaty when I saw that the bikes were manual and I don?t know how to drive manual. Instantly my brain went into overdrive as I started thinking how I will be able to ride one of those huge bikes and still stay upright while trying to manage a manual bike.
Our guide informed us that the bikes are also semi automatic, so all I would need to do is stick it in 4th gear and it would be automatic. I felt so relieved and a little more?relaxed?about our impending tour ahead.
I started up the engine and pulled out from the curb cautiously. It felt strange being in control of a vehicle. I hadn?t driven anything in over 12 months! I was cruising along a slow pace-easing myself into the ride as my heart was still beating fast from being nervous about the experience.
A little while into the ride and we had to pull out on the highway to get to the jungle track we were going to be riding on that day. It was there on the highway, that something inside me snapped. All my fear had gone and all I could think about was how much I wanted to fang down the highway-on a Quadbike no less!
Maybe it was just that my brain needed time to realise that Quadbiking wasn?t all that scary, but I no longer wanted to go slow.
For rest of our entire ride I was purposely going over bumps, speeding down the dirt track and (admittedly) pretending I was in some BMX rally. I didn?t care that I ran off the track into trees countless times. The?adrenalin?was pumping and I felt alive!
AND if you aren?t already impressed with my extreme efforts two days later I also went cavern diving in one of the cenotes of Tulum.
When I originally went and did my open water course, I never thought I would be diving in caves in the dark.
Now, you would think that I would not be so scared to go cavern diving, considering there was no real need for me to be so nervous before Quadbiking, but I have a bit of a goldfish memory when it comes to things like that. I was freaking out.
Ant could tell I was scared, because when I?m scared I don?t talk-and that?s really something for me.
My wild imaginiation was conjuring up all sorts of scenarios in my head:?My torch?wouldn?t?work while we were down there and I?ll have to feel my way back to the light at the top. My tank will get ?caught on one of the rocks and I?ll be stuck underwater?..or the worst?..I?ll turn around the corner and there will be some Pirates of the?Caribbean skeleton grinning at me from one of the rock crevasses.
I know. They sound stupid now, but pre-dive they all seemed like completely plausible situations.
What freaked me out further was the fact that we had to learn a few other different rules to go diving in the caverns. There were certain light signals we had to know to be able to communicate with each other underwater beacuse it?s so dark we can not see one another.
I?listened?intently and my brain snapped awake and immediatly memorised the light signal for what the instructor called was get me the hell out of here.
Jumping into the cenote all I could do was nod and meekly give the OK signal above water. I put my regulator in my mouth and released the air out of my BCD.
As soon as I was fully submerged in the water, I snapped my torch on straight away. Ant eyed me with a ?Really Elise?? look, because we were not yet in the dark zone, but hey-I didn?t care. I was also?consciously?trying not to take in so much air. I was so nervous I was sucking it back so fast, that at the rate I was going I?d hardly make a 20 minute dive!
Swimming a little further along I suddenly inhaled sharply.
It was this moment as my torch beam lit up the stalagmites underwater that my fears were washed away in the water I was diving in.?For the next 50 minutes we weaved our our way around rock formations that made us feel like we were on another planet. An alien terrain. The water was so clear and still, so you forgot you were even swimming?through?anything and breathing air out of a tank. ?The torches were so bright underwater I even forgot I was diving in the dark with rock walls all around me.
I had the same feeling as being on the Quadbike again. I felt alive and liberated.
I didn?t even get scared when we had to wiggle through some tight spots and my tank got stuck. I just calmly worked myself free. Gold star for me!
As we made our ascent, Ant looked over at me again and eyed me. But this time it they were more of ?How friggen cool was that?? look.
I realised that night, that this is what I am so thankful for when we travel. It pushes me out of my comfort zone, challenges me and gets me to try new things. Things I would never dream of doing back home. With the end result of a new experience and a proud feeling in my belly.
With my new?philosophy still?in my head, cooking dinner that night Ant said to me ?You?ve been?pretty?extreme these last few days?.
How did I reply?
?Yeah I know. I?m so hardcore it hurts?.
PS. I have to say, when I was adding in the photos to this post I realised just how much of a DORK I looked on the Quadbike! Not hardcore at all!