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Top Three Risks I’ve Taken

Bungee jumping in Switzerland – I’m the little dot on the bottom of the picture

First of all, thank you SO MUCH for your positive response to yesterday’s post.  I can say that day #1 of full time blogger status was crazy busy, and every piece of it was exciting.  I can’t wait to be a part of this adventure with you all!

Related to yesterday’s post, I recently had a conversation with my mother about how she actively raised me to be a risk taker.  And I completely believe it!  When someone is nervous about taking risks, they typically shy away from stepping outside of the path that is immediately available.  Risk takers prefer the route less travelled – they leap and hope a net will appear.  I don’t think that one is better than the other, it’s just a difference of preferences.  Although I’ve regularly found myself somewhere in the middle.

There are some risks that I’ve taken that have been entirely life-changing, and luckily all in a positive way thus far.  While I have been skydiving and bungee jumping, and still hope to climb one of the major mountains in the world one day (let me know your tips if you’ve done so!), I don’t necessarily mean these types of one-time risks.  I mean those risks that scared you so much that they essentially rock you to your core.  Where you know that you have to live with the consequences and that your actions will have tentacles that lead throughout your entire life.  These are the risks where we have to listen to our heart and understand that what logic says may not always be for the best.  Please share some of your experiences below!

Below are three of the biggest risks that I’ve taken in my recent life and how they’ve impacted my life today.

IMG_5137 (1) Girls from the dance team in high school, some that I’ve known since I was around 3 years old, at my friend Jenny’s wedding a year and a half ago

Choosing Dance Team in High School

When I was little, my parents got me into every sport imaginable, but let’s just say that my hand/eye coordination left a lot to be desired.  Where I landed was in dance and ice-skating, and both fit my skill sets perfectly.  Good overall coordination, a great sense of rhythm, and a desire to be a part of a team meant that I naturally gravitated towards the team versions of both of these sports, preferring to take the stage as one of many, rather than as the center of attention.

As happens with most children, I had to pick one sport or the other when I got to an older age.  After years of skipping school lunches, gym classes, and study halls to train for ice skating, waking up at the latest 5:30am each morning, training after school (before homework) each night, and traveling across the globe for competitions, I decided my Sophomore year of high school that I wanted to give it all up.  I decided that I, instead, wanted to be a part of the much less time-consuming pon-pom dance squad.  Still incredibly competitive, the training schedule was much less demanding, and my friends were school friends rather than being from other schools in ice skating.

The best lesson that came from this was that it’s best to follow your heart and to trust your gut.  Before I chose dance team over ice-skating, I crossed several people thinking I was crazy.  And maybe I was, but it allowed me to understand that there are always a variety of paths that can always be selected.  And most of the time, no matter which path you take, it’s going to be okay.

IMG_5135 Homecoming at Miami the year after I graduated with girls from my college dance team, the Shakerettes (not the best team name, I know)

Deciding to Go to Miami University

Selecting to go to Miami University was a kind of random choice in the area I was raised.  Most of my friends attended similar schools as one another, but I decided to attend a somewhat random school where I didn’t have any close friends.  And to tell you the truth, I extremely disliked it my first semester!  I actually got to the point that I filled out an application for University of Texas (also a random selection, but that’s another conversation for another day.)  But I stuck with it, decided what I should change about my situation – joined a sorority, tried out and made the dance team – and I ended up loving my overall Miami experience.

This experience taught me to stick with my first decision, as long as it’s safe and I’m not feeling in a compromised situation.  My parents made a rule that I wasn’t allowed to go home and they wouldn’t visit me until Thanksgiving my first year, and it made all the difference!  I made friends in my dorm that are now my bridesmaids and wedding officient today!  Without MIami, I wouldn’t even have met Ray, or pretty much 50% of our wedding attendees.  Sticking to my first decision for a full year is what made all the difference!

IMG_5136 Bonnaroo 2011 with friends from Cincinnati – I didn’t know any of these folks prior to moving to Cincy

Moving to Cities Where I Don’t Know Many People

Twice in the past decade, I’ve made the almost illogical decision to move to cities where I had no family and didn’t know many other people.  I moved to Cincinnati right after college, knowing a few people, but no close friends, and then, as you guys know, Ray and I moved to Colorado knowing only ourselves.  While both were terrible at first, similar to Miami, I missed all of my close friends and family as they were all hanging out together, these situations both turned out beautifully.  They have made me more outgoing, independent, and confident.  And Denver is definitely turning out swimmingly thus far. 🙂

These experiences taught me to trust others first, rather than regularly questioning strangers.  Just like most people, you kind of get a feeling when you meet people if they’re on the good side of the coin or not… trust that.  Trust people you don’t know and you might have a new friend or mentor that could change your life for the better.


What risks have you taken in your life that have made your life better?

What have these risks taught you over the years?

Create a great life!

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