The day was windy and overcast, but it was the only day we could do it. I watched the catamaran in the distance, and the little speedboat that departed from it make its way back toward shore, bobbing wildly up and down on the waves. “It’s a good thing I don’t get sea sick,” I thought.
As my then-husband and I waited our turn to parasail, I buried my feet in the brown sand, digging deep into it by wiggling my toes back and forth. I’d then pull each foot out one at a time and start the process again. I wondered if the weather would cause any problems, but even as I wondered, I felt a tinge of excitement.
“How many feet of line would you like?” asked a pudgy man with thick fingers, as he took down our names.
We opted for the longer of the two lines, 1200 feet. That would set us about 500 feet in the air. I really had no idea how high that really was, but it sounded good.
Getting on the catamaran from the speed boat was a little tricky with the hefty waves bumping the boats together, but once onboard I felt secure as I took a seat and waited my turn.
There were several other couples on board. We were to be second. When the time came, the attendant hooked us to cables, ropes and a chute and directed us to stand with our backs to the water on the edge of the boat. On his signal the driver launched forward. When enough wind had filled our sail our feet lifted from the platform and we floated higher and higher into the sky.
The noise from the boats and the waves and the wind disappeared beneath us. The breeze was lilting, the rhythm of the parasail hypnotic. It felt like a giant swing above the world, untouchable to the cares below. Wrapped up in the mighty arms of the expansive sky I felt incredibly safe. Peace filled me with warmth, like the sunshine on my back.
With the Pacific Ocean beneath me, and the scenery of Maui on the horizon I was in awe. It was one of those beautiful moments you don’t want to end. One of those moments that you’re thankful you took hold of and embraced. One of those moments where because you did the unordinary you experienced the extraordinary.
Back on the boat the third couple decided to ditch their ride. I felt bad for what they were missing.
Fear really can rob us. We may not know what we’re missing when we pass on an opportunity. How sad to let potential go unrealized, untouched, and unexperienced. Sure, something could go wrong. I’ve gotten myself into plenty of those situations and experienced all the fear, panic, regret and pain that goes along with them. But in the end, the lessons I’ve learned have been priceless. I am more because I tried. I am more because I was stronger than fear. I am more because I did something unusual. I am more because I lived.
We are on this earth to gain experience. In our attempts to live a life of control and comfort we cheat ourselves. It’s like having access to an enormous laboratory and only using one corner of the room. What else might we learn if we venture to the other side?