Be: Bold

This video represents a special memory. It was Thanksgiving weekend 2013 and I was visiting Tahoe with my husband and our three young sons. We spent one of our days at stunning Emerald Bay: we hiked down the trail to the Vikingsholm mansion, picnicked on the beach, and gazed longingly at magical Fanette Island with its castle-like ruins. Oh, the adventures that could be had if only we had a boat!

Right then, I spied distant ripples in the water. A small motor boat had entered the cove and was approaching the pier. I got up off the bench and told my husband I'd be back soon; he knew exactly what I was thinking, 10 years of marriage results in a bit of telepathy.

Slowly, I walked towards the pier, taking deep breaths and mustering up courage. I knew what I wanted to do: I wanted to ask for a boat ride around the island. Crazy, I know, but I had this urge, this burning desire. And if I got a positive read on the boat driver, I was feeling bold enough to ask.

He docked. He was old and wrinkled; he seemed kind, unhurried. He had a passenger in the boat, a young woman. I walked up and greeted him. He was chatty and warm. I pointed out my husband and sons on the beach, and then I took the plunge:

"Any chance you might want to give us a quick ride around the island?"

I couldn't believe I'd said it. It was scary, it was out of my comfort zone, but my desire trumped my fear. He smiled and said he'd love to.

Next thing I knew, we were piled into Dave's motor boat, getting a tour of Emerald Bay (the female passenger stayed on shore). Once we were on the water, fear hit me: what have I gotten us into? What if he's crazy? What if one of my non-life-jacketed children falls in the deep, icy lake? What if Dave's a murderer? You know, typical Mama Bear fears. After looping around the back of the island, Dave pulled a fast one on me: he revved the boat, took a sharp, careening turn, and I freaked. Somehow I managed to grab the backs of all 3 boys' jackets at once; Mama Bears pull superhuman stunts when danger calls. Dave laughed, so did my husband. They got me.

Even though it was risky to boat with a stranger captain, I'm so happy I asked for a ride and Dave obliged me. It's a fun family memory that wouldn't have happened had I been timid. I had a desire, I asked, and it happened. So, today's encouragement is to be bold—just ask! Someone can always answer no.

(Yes, we teach our children to never get in a car, or a boat, with a stranger. In this case, they were with us, responsible adults, and my husband was bigger than Dave. You can see him standing next to Dave in the photo. He stayed there for the whole ride.)

p.s. I'm dreaming about kayaying to Fannette Island and exploring it on foot! Hopefully sometime soon.