Keeping up the stoke and taking risks.

Do you remember being a kid and having no concept of danger or failure?

It feels like a distant memory to me.

I have recently been reminded of this fearless mindset as I watched Fin take his first “free-form” steps this past week.

It wasn’t the milestone that captivated me…it was the completely manic look in his eyes that screamed: “WAHOOOOO! I am alive!”

He was stoked & addicted.

Fin is a risk-taker. He continues to push the boundaries every day, testing out what his ever-evolving body can do.

I actually became a bit envious of my 9-month old, and somewhat bored with myself.

I recognized that stoked/manic look in his eyes.

I remember what that felt like to test the limits. I felt the same feeling when I dropped in on my first overhead wave on my honeymoon; and I felt it when I was in 3rd grade and wrote my first commercial jingle (for Crispy Corn/ a fake Cereal) and belted out the song with a hick-twang to a rug full of peers.

It’s that feeling of “OK, this is a bit scary, but I am going for it!”

There once was a time when my friends and I would practice our wakeboarding skills every summer and challenge each-other to “clear more wake,” or “get more air” — but then I reached a point where I decided I would rather just cruise behind the boat to avoid any potential injuries, since I had to be at work on Monday. BORING.

2 winters ago, Matt surprised me with all of my own snowboard gear for Christmas. At the time, it was a priority to me to round out my boarding repertoire (surf, wake, skate, snow) and make sure I knew how to snowboard before I became a mom one day. The first day out on the mountain, I sprained my wrist… and low and behold a few months later, I got knocked up. So needless to say, my days of “extreme sports” ventures came to a halt (sans the riveting SUP session here or there).

So why am I telling you all of this?

I am not going to make a vow to start surfing again every weekend, or head to Big Bear tomorrow (wrist-guards in tow of course).

That’s just not realistic at this juncture in my life.

So for now, it’s more about finding those little risky thrills that get the heart pumping again. Sometimes it can even be achieved on the job.

This year I have made a vow to be extremely authentic and vulnerable at work, even in the highest-risk moments where we’re pitching for new business, I am trying to show my true colors and speak with complete candor. I am over the fakeness that comes with marketing and business development. It feels good to just be real, and honest.

This method of vulnerability can be frightening…but it yields good results and makes me feel alive.

And as for tonight, I might just skateboard down the back alley and see if I still have any core balance left in my abs (#postnatalprobs).

What about you? How do you take little (or big) risks that make you feel alive?

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