“We cray cray.” – Anonymous.
Have you ever done something audacious? Something bold? Something that makes your friends shake their heads and mutter “Crazy!“?
I’m not talking jumping-off-a-cliff-with-a-parachute-crazy. And I’m not talking about the crazy stuff we may have done when we were kids. That may fall under the category of “reckless” rather than crazy.
I’m talking about something you had to first consider, then screw up your courage, and finally say “Yes. I’m up for the challenge, up for the adventure, up for the crazy!”
I am considering doing something crazy this weekend. I need it. I have been feeling anxious and scared for too long now and it’s affecting my sleep, my mental health, and my outlook on life. I need a little bit of crazy.
If I do it, I will write about it in this space next week. My “crazy” does not involve breaking any social distancing rules. I will probably be by myself (unless I can convince the hubs to be crazy too).
Here are three crazy things I have done. You may consider these escapades pretty mild to be considered “crazy” but I am, by nature, fairly conservative. I consider them to be a little bit on the wild side.
- When my children were young, my husband and I did not have much disposable income. In fact, at some points, we were downright poor. Nevertheless, we would usually scrimp together some money each year and travel on the cheap.
By the time the youngest one left the nest, we were more comfortable financially. We had visited many locations in the U.S. and even traveled to Mexico and Canada, but never left the North American continent.
For our first trip abroad, we decided on a self-guided biking tour of the Netherlands, based in the town of Wageningen.
This was in the days before cell phones or GPS watches. To navigate we depended on a set of printed directions written by someone who was obviously not a native English speaker.
They also included such baffling instructions as “Turn left at the third telephone pole, after the place where the hair salon used to be.”
After two fairly tense, anxious, and confusing days, we stopped in a bar at the center of town for a beer before we returned to our hotel.
We were the only patrons there and the bartender decided we would be his project for the afternoon. Having never tasted Dutch or Belgian beers, he gave us tiny tastes of several different brews until we found just the right one.
We enjoyed lively conversation while we sipped and before long the bar was filled with other friendly customers who also gave us recommendations.
Because we had to ride our bikes back to the hotel, we were reluctant to taste too many of our new friends’ suggestions but we vowed to return the next day.
After that, we threw away the directions and rode our bikes wherever we wanted, trusting we would find an English-speaking person somewhere who could direct us back to town. And we did.
We rode past windmills, tulips, sheep, and dikes, then repaired each afternoon to the bar for another lesson in European beer.
It may have been crazy to throw away the directions, but it was the right decision for us.
Several years ago, I traveled with four running friends to Spearfish, South Dakota to participate in the Leading Ladies all-women marathon.
We all stayed in one small hotel room, sharing one tiny bathroom for a week.
Many people told us we were crazy but I think we laughed most of the time we were there.
We ran the race, which was wonderful, and spent the rest of the week exploring the state, which was unexpectedly (to me) beautiful.
There was never an unkind word, never a catty remark, nobody rolled their eyes in impatience the entire week. We called ourselves “The Good Girls in the Badlands“.
One night, after we enjoyed take-out pizza and a bottle of wine in our room, we were all asleep when the door of our room opened.
Luckily, one of us (not me) thought to put the chain on the door so it only opened a crack.
Suddenly awake, I sprinted to see who was there. It was an older woman. She looked confused and possibly under the influence.
She told us the front desk clerk had given her the key to our room, that it was her son’s room. We assured her it was not her son’s room and called the front desk.
Even though it was pretty scary at the time, the episode made a good story after the fact, one I am still telling.
- Two years ago, on Mothers’ Day weekend, my hubby, two friends, and I formed a team to run a trail 24-hour relay.
We took turns running one-hour intervals around a 1.5-mile course.
It became more of an adventure than we planned when, after the first two hours, it began drizzling. The drizzle became a steady rain, which soon turned into a downpour.
Mothers’ Day weekend is not always warm in central Pennsylvania, especially at night. When I returned to our tent after my midnight shift and found my air mattress underwater, I was not happy.
Eventually, we all retreated to our cars to stay warm and dry and get a little uncomfortable sleep between our turns at running.
Unfortunately, runners circling the same dirt course over and over in the pouring rain results in an abundance of mud. Mud that sucked our shoes off; mud that coated our extremities; mud that was so slippery it was almost impossible to stay upright.
At the end of the race, after eating delicious blueberry pancakes, tacos, and pierogies, we stumbled into a nearby inn to shower and sleep. I can only imagine what the desk clerk thought of the filthy, bedraggled couple who checked in that day.
What a crazy adventure.
I hope to have another one to report next week.
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