I Dare Me.

candles1_PREVIEW

Today is my Birthday. Number nifty-four. Happy to me!

A Monday birthday and I didn’t even take it as a bad sign that my special day started with a record-breaking stock market crash and four buzzards (I kid you not!) lurking on the road just outside our gate. Nope…Monday, stock market, death birds…you cannot, will not, did not ruin my day.

Fiddle-dee-dee.

Now, back to ME.

Years, and years, and more years ago, I made a vow that on each birthday I should do something I’ve never done before.  It was my own little dare to myself to help keep things interesting, adventurous, and a bit on the are-you-out-of-your-mind side.

I’m happy to report that it has been mission accomplished, again, and again, and yet again. I have Jim, my very significant other, and many friends to thank for helping me stay on this thrilling and potentially destructive track.

My “dare me” initiative has resulted in some pretty exciting birthdays.

There was this…

5112_1173686145981_2397323_nWhy yes, I did step out of a perfectly good airplane at 12,000 feet. (Thanks for the gentle shove, Jim.(Not really! I jumped right out!))

It was FANTASTIC! That was a forty-something birthday.

I also had the great privilege of celebrating one of my birthdays, another forty-something event, in this venue…

Africa 3

Oh don’t get me started on this trip or I’ll fill the whole blog with nothing but amazing memories and photos of our time in South Africa. When you have had an adult male lion pass so close to you that you could reach out to tickle his ears (if you were to completely lose your mind and wanted to freak out your ranger), well, it’s an experience you never forget.

Some birthdays are more tame than others. One birthday the “new thing” was simply smoking a cigar while relaxing at a lake resort. Not a habit that stuck with me, thankfully.

Another year, a group of amazing friends and that Jim guy took me to Worlds of Fun in Kansas City so I could ride rides I’ve never ridden before. There is not a roller coaster on this earth that I won’t ride. Dare me, go ahead.

This was me on a giant crane/rip-cord/swing thing with Jim and a friend (with a death grip on Jim’s arm) who shall remain nameless, but BOY can she scream…

Worlds of fun

So this year, I honestly wasn’t sure what the new thing would be. I mean really, we might be running out of new stuff after nifty-four years, right?

Wrong.

Jim found something new. So this happened…

flyboarding

It’s called a flyboard and basically, there’s a hose that takes all of the power from the attached jet ski and funnels it at great force through a special contraption attached very firmly to your feet. If all goes well, you fly up out of the water. I think the photo above makes it appear I’m doing a fancy stunt. Pretty sure the next frame was a fancy crash-landing.

But fear not! This also happened…

Fly Nan

And some more of this looks-like-a-stunt-but-was-a-crash-in-progress stuff…

Fly Nan 2

And finally this…

Fly nan 3

And lots of this…

fly nan 4

Jim was able to do THIS…

Jim fly 2

Really high, right? He also did this…

Jim fly

I’ll let him tell you if that was on purpose or not, but let’s just say his eardrum was ruptured somewhere in this process (the entering the water sideways and really hard part). He’ll be good as new after minor surgery and several months of healing. No biggie.

Plus now he only hears half of the stuff I say to him. I’m pretty sure he’s good with that. Nancy, “Blah, blah, blah, blah.” Jim, “Huh?” Repeat, repeat.

Back to flyboarding. So then I did this…

Steven fly

Ok…not me. This is our instructor, Steven, showing us how it’s done.

Showoff.

I guess the back flip will be my “new thing” for my nifty-fifth birthday. Yeah.

Probably not.

But there will be a new challenge for number nifty-five, and for all the birthdays to come. You only go around once, you might as well do it with lake water up your nose, or elephants charging around you, or the ground rushing up to meet you.

So what will be next? Who knows. I’m sure we’ll think of something. The “what” is not as important as the “new” and the “with.”

Careful. If you hang out with me on a future birthday, my friends and I may drag you into something “new” too.

How do you feel about hang gliding? Hmmmm.

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