Not Livin’ on the Edge!

Years ago, I tried (emphasis on the word “tried”) to do a bike ride excursion down Haleakala in Maui, Hawaii. In theory, this was a really great idea. They picked us up at our hotel at 5 a.m. in a van and drove us to the very top of a volcano. They provided the bikes, helmets and jumpsuits to wear over our clothes, and we just had to follow the tour guide (on said-bike) down the edge of the enormous volcano while the van followed behind. Except that’s not how it went down for me. Nope. I had my very first, very real, panic attack. One minute I was perfectly fine, excited to watch the sunrise over the Pacific Ocean with the wind on my face. And the next minute, it hit me like a ton of bricks, “This is a terrible idea” was now pulsating through my mind. As I was on my bike gazing over the edge of this extremely large volcano, there were no guard rails, no bike lanes, not even a paved road, just a gravel path slightly wider than a car that we had to share with all the drivers.

My throat began to close up, my eyes welled with tears, my hands instantly got clammy, and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I got off the bike almost as quickly as I had gotten on it. I didn’t feel like I had any control of my own body. Almost like someone or something had taken a remote and changed all my internal programming. Any sense of rationale went right out the window. I was 100% certain that if I got back on that bike, I would be entering my inevitable death while tumbling down the side of Haleakala. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. Death was clearly the only option here.

In hindsight, I should have practiced a form of meditation to get through this panic attack, to find my inner peace, to have faith that everything will be ok. But instead I rode back down in the same rickety old van that drove us all to the top, and watched everyone else from behind while they enjoyed the sunrise with the wind in their hair. Ultimately, I missed out on the thrilling experience that I had signed up (and prepaid for) because fear got the best of me. My takeaway from that experience was to learn to have a little more faith and to sometimes, quite literally, to live on the edge!

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Las Vegas Pilates | Yoga | Kids Fitness Instructor. Author of, “The 5 f-bombs!” Follow on Instagram @1109fitness & @the_5_f_bombs & YouTube at “1109 Fitness”

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Jillian Potashnick

Jillian Potashnick

Las Vegas Pilates | Yoga | Kids Fitness Instructor. Author of, “The 5 f-bombs!” Follow on Instagram @1109fitness & @the_5_f_bombs & YouTube at “1109 Fitness”

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