Learn To Enjoy The Crazy Ride of Life
It was a partly cloudy day in Maui, Hawaii when I abseiled not just one, but three jungle cliffs. Oh, you know! The usual…cruising down cliffs next to waterfalls and such. Now that was the easier part of the day. It was the process of getting to that point that was a little rough. Once everyone packed inside the van, our guide said “I hope none of you get nauseous easily!” leading me to think, “Umm…I hope not either!” Little did we know what the road ahead had in store.
As we began to drive, the road started off straight. Though, it wasn’t long until…”BEEP, BEEP, BEEEEP!!” signaled the first turn around a lengthy corner of a mountain. One down, about 400 more curves to go. Boy, were we in for a treat! This is when I realized just what the guide meant by getting nauseous. We were about three-quarters of the way to our destination when I started to feel it – the feeling that everyone hates, especially when you have to sit still. Fortunately, It wasn’t the feeling that I was worried about experiencing. This one was the next worse feeling – restlessness; “being unable to relax as a result of boredom.” Trying not to fall out of my seat during every twist and turn got pretty monotonous. It wasn’t until I focused my attention outside my window, when the lush landscape became more important than every bump in the road. Once I started to focus more on the scenery outside, time began to go by speedily. We came to our approximately 358th turn when I was on the verge of becoming carsick, but up ahead I spotted a little sign. “Just about there!” one of the guides exclaimed excitedly. Fifteen minutes after that being said, the white van slowly came to a stop at the top of a hill. As my bright orange and white tennis shoes hit the soil, a rush of relief and exhilaration came upon me. I made it on the Hana Highway nauseous free!
Within about an hour of departing the van, we all had our vibrant helmets and rappelling gear tight and ready to go! Step by step, careful as to where and how each foot landed on the slick mud, I made it down the first cliff. I put everything, including my body weight and trust into a thick, sturdy rope and a tree nearby. Before we knew it we were all rappelling “pros” standing at the top of one of the last waterfalls, looking over the rainforest canyon. At that moment, I felt like I was standing in an exquisite movie setting. If you were to look into the reflection of my blue eyes as I admired the sight, you would have seen an innumerable amount of green trees of every shade with rain droplets slowly rolling off their leaves, tropical flowers of the rainbow and possibly a rainbow if you looked carefully. Once I reached the bottom of the cliff and the last of the rope, I waited for the others while standing beside the rapid water. Breathing in the cool, moist Hawaiian air, the waterfall behind me drizzled onto the rocks seeming to be in a hurry to reach the end of the river. We all whispered our goodbyes to the waterfalls and made our way back to the winding road with now a smile planted on our faces.
Every work of art encompassing me made every twist and turn worth it. We all left the Hana Highway with an adventure and a lesson to tell whether most of us realized it or not. Without having gotten through the winding path, I wouldn’t have found my paradise. In the end, its a matter of going through the rocky times in order to learn to cherish our blessings. Stacey Carter once said,”Life is filled with so many exciting twists and turns. Hop off the straight and narrow whenever you can and take the winding paths. Experience the exhilaration of the view from the edge. Because the moments spent there, that take your breath away, are what makes you feel truly alive.” Sometimes you have to experience some twists and turns before you see the beauty that awaits you. Learn to enjoy the ride.