I was scared so I stopped.
When I was five they put a new slide in the park next door.
It was one of those curly ones; that go down in a spiral.
I had never seen anything like it. All of the kids wanted to try it out. There was a big line.
When it was my turn I started down but I panicked. I grabbed the sides.
Kids kept slamming into me. Every time a new kid would hit me I’d move a little further. Finally this fat kid slid into me and I broke free.
I never went down that slide again.
I was learning to drive.
I was merging onto the freeway. It was at one of those yield signs. They told me that yield meant you could go as long as nothing else was coming.
I saw lots of cars and trucks coming. I got scared; I stopped.
Everyone honked and yelled at me.
Today I use Uber whenever I can. (Everyone who knows me knows how I hate to drive to this day).
When I was 15 my Karate teacher seemed mean. He told me I was going to compete in an upcoming tournament. He he didn’t care that I was scared; he made me do it anyway.
I spent the next decade traveling all over competing in tournaments. I even competed and won as a representative of the U.S. Karate team in Tokyo. I’m glad my Sensei didn’t let me stop.
I wonder how life would be different if I hadn’t stopped every time I got scared. I wonder how many more dates I would have gone on. How much more money I would have made. How many more places I might have seen and lived.
I’ve stopped a lot.
Maybe I shouldn’t have.