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Isabelle Wright

Calling All Non-Thrill Seekers

On Monday I skied for the first time in my life. I was essentially dropped at the top of a steep–far too steep for comfort–mountain with no option other than to ski down. I do not consider myself a thrill seeker. I do not actively and consciously crave or seek out an adrenaline rush. In fact, I’ve always struggled with the concept of ‘downhill.’ Skateboarding, scootering, biking–any open vehicle that one would ride downhill scares me. Skiing was the perfect storm. I asked my friend’s dad–who skied with me the first day–a million questions. How do I stop? How can I slow down? What if I hurt myself? Can we go back to the house? Once I realized that none of my questions were being answered in the way I wanted them to be, it became obvious that the only answer was to just ski down and get it over with. I flew down the mountain, trying my best to keep control, using my edges, pizza, and french fries. As the slope came to an abrupt end I made myself fall instead of attempting to gracefully stop. I layed in the snow, out of breath while a wave of triumphant nausea hit me momentarily. Turning back around to gaze, in awe, at the steep slope I had just conquered, I realized this was the first time in so long I had done something I was afraid to do–really really afraid. 

I share this story not as a cautionary tale but rather to make you ask yourself when was the last time you did something you were afraid to do. Maybe you’re a daredevil and it was just yesterday, or maybe you’re like me and you’re racking your brain.  Even if you’re not a thrill seeker, adrenaline chaser, or whatever you want to call it, everyone benefits from the rush of doing something scary. It doesn’t need to be physical. It can be watching a scary movie, auditioning for something, etc.

In the coming weeks, I challenge you to scare yourself and make discoveries about what you are capable of. There is nothing healthier than pleasantly surprising yourself. For me, the idea that there is more to discover about yourself is the most thrilling of all. Perhaps I am a thrill seeker.


Anna is currently a sophomore at Washington University in St. Louis. She majors in Anthropology on the Global Health and Environment track, and minors in Writing.
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