“Anything that gets your blood racing is probably worth doing.” – Hunter S. Thompson
When is the last time you did something to get your blood racing? When is the last time you did something that made you feel truly alive?
Yesterday, my son borrowed my motorcycle to take his girlfriend to her grandmother’s for dinner. After dinner, he offered to take grandma for a ride on the bike. She could have said no. She could have said “Oh, but what if I get hurt?”, but she didn’t. She could have said “Oh, gosh no, I’m too old.”, but she didn’t. What she said is “Really? I haven’t been on a bike since I was sixteen!”
Now that’s the kind of attitude I truly love. The kids brought back video of her on the bike with my son to show me. Her arms were up in the air over her head as she whooped, her excitement and joy uncontainable. Such a simple thing, but for a few minutes, she felt alive. It was a wonderful thing to witness, and I’m so glad someone enjoyed my bike as much as I do. I can truly identify with her because that’s exactly how I feel when I’m riding. I smile from ear to ear like an idiot, and I’m lucky I’m not picking bugs out of my teeth when we get home.
Grandma has now decided she needs a bike of her own. I hope she gets one. She is, by the way, only 63, just a year older than my own mother, and she looks amazing. With her attitude, I can see why.
When we’re young we’re always up for excitement and risk. As teenagers we feel invincible. We’ve all got stories of the crazy things we did. As we get older we take on descriptives such as mature, responsible, dignified, and respectable. We spend our days working, running errands, paying bills, and raising our children. Our discussions begin to center around things like 401k’s and life insurance. We begin to emulate society’s expectations of age.
Then we wake up one day and realize we’re too old. Too old to do all the awesome things we always said we’d do someday. And with age comes fear. The older we get, the more we worry about what could happen. Being cautious is smart, yes, but at what cost.
Do you remember who you were at sixteen? What were you passionate about? What got your blood racing? Did you ride dirt bikes, a skateboard, roller coasters? Maybe it was something less daring. Maybe it was painting, dancing, playing guitar, or a cause that meant something to you. When did you stop?
Decide today, for your own sake, to rekindle those passions. Spend some time thinking about who you were before the world of grown ups took over. Begin now to bring those things back in to your life.
The pursuit of passions that excite us is what keeps us young and vital. So, thumb your nose at society, at the naysayers and the killjoys, and go do something that gets your blood racing.