The human heart was—and remains—a mystery to me. But I’m learning. I have to. —Anthony Bourdain

You only live once

I know everyone’s probably heard this expression too much, and are sick of it, but the past two weeks, I’ve been really taking it to heart. This is definitely one of my more adventurous phases, and I am really beginning to see that sometimes, not everything is about lying around with loved ones and nomming all the time (which is still my favorite thing to do in the world) and that the world is just a step away from adventure.

First of all, let me show you my bike:

Yes those are my shoes.

This was during my first bike trail at a place a little past Timberland. It was literally the third time I’d taken my bike out, and the first time I’d gone out to somewhere other than the UP Diliman Academic Oval. It was a grueling ride. The most physically exhausting day I’d gone through in my life. I was so tired I wanted to pass out, and even fell burger bell first into the muddy clay downhill. I was scratched, bruised, muddier than I’ve ever been and my running shoes will never look the same again, but it was also the most fun I’d ever had in a really long time. I have always loved bikes as a child. I never had one, and had to borrow other people’s rides. I would get scratched up because I couldn’t reach the ground and the brakes didn’t work, so I put my ankle in the middle of a concrete bench to stop.  I remember loving the feel of the wind in my hair, and the serenity of riding through whatever road/route/park I was in, never feeling as calm as I did when I was on two wheels.

As an adult, if it’s possible, I like it even more. For the first time in my life, I have my very own bike! And even though it’s not pink, it’s a girl bike, with a cushy seat and soft suspension, large tires built for trails and a decent shock system so instead of crashing down on bumps, I’d bounce a bit. It has these really cool stencil things on a silver background that makes it look more like something you’d cruise around in than muddy up, and it cleans easy too. I like to think more than myself, my bike did a lot of the work to make it easier for me to take the shock of that exhausting day. When we got to the top of that hill and saw the sights, I could hardly believe I got there without someone propelling me.

Not that I didn’t have support. There was the fiance cheering me on and telling me I could do it every step of the way. The rest of the group were nice enough to wait and told me that we could stop anytime and rest when I needed it, and when my bike got a bit bent from the crash, they picked up the pieces of my broken bell and fixed the handlebars to ride like new.

It was an experience. A life experience, and I can’t wait to go again.

But that’s not the only way I said “you only live once” these past two weeks. On a company sponsored trip to the lower part of the Philippines, I had an opportunity to go on Asia’s longest zipline. Let me tell you, I am not the biggest fan of these ropes to propel you across a big ravine. I have gone to at least 6 places that offer this “attraction” and I’ve never gone once. It’s not that I’m afraid of heights, I’m just afraid of falling down to my death. My fear of heights extends to 3rd floor balconies and Tagaytay views I’m that skittish.  So when it came time to sign up for the 840m zipline, I was nervous until the last minute. My knees were knocking together when it came time to strap in, especially when they told us we couldn’t hold on to the straps when we were going down. I had actually run out of swear words by the time I’d gone halfway through the line it was that long.

Me in blue. I was calculating if I was going to collide with the person ziplining across.

So does this mean I’m going to be extra adventurous from now on? Probably not. Everyone says people getting married should be more careful as they’re more prone to accidents, and even if I don’t fully subscribe to that notion, I’m not going to push it and wobble down the aisle in a cast or a wheelchair. I am a klutz still and will most probably get into some scrapes. However, don’t count me out just yet.



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