GISHWHES 2016: Day #7

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Every year, Gishwhes challenges participants to be kind, be silly, and sometimes, to be brave.

Yesterday, I completed an item that both intrigued me and terrified the shit out of me. The lovely, inspiring, and badass Briana Buckmaster and Kim Rhodes wanted gishers to accomplish something they’d always wanted to do but had been too afraid to try. For me, that was riding a motorcycle.

This was an intensely personal test for me. In 2009, a close friend passed away in a terrible motorcycle accident. Although I had always loved the idea of riding one, in the aftermath of his death the thought became abhorrent to me. It was an irrational fear—after all, I knew people who’d died in car accidents, but that never stopped me from getting behind the wheel. But there was something about motorcycles that now terrified me. Thinking of getting on one would prompt chills, nausea, and eventual nightmares. This machine that had once seemed thrilling, freeing, and sexy was now anything but.

After a long talk with the Collectress, I decided it was worth a try to attempt to face my fear. And well, I think I succeeded.

I made a silly face for the sake of the photo, but actually had a not-terrifying time on my 1-minute ride. I thought of my friend, what he loved most in life, and how he must have felt with the wind in his face and the pavement speeding beneath his wheels.

It wasn’t so bad.

Thank you, Gishwhes, for reminding me that fear doesn’t rule me. Fear is not something to put me down, but something to be stepped over and conquered. It’s okay to be afraid…it’s also okay to stand up and say “no more.”

Hours left, friends. What will you do with the time you have left?

Happy gishing,

The Collected Mutineer

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