All my life, I have been told what I can and cannot do. What roller coasters I can go on, what medications I can take that won’t affect my other medications, whether I can get tattoos (that’s a no…for now) and how many medical appointments I need to be available for each year.
Thus, in true ‘me’ fashion, to celebrate my 21st birthday, my mum sent me to the Gold Coast with two of my best friends and organised five days of adrenaline-induced activities that I almost certainly had to have medical certificates for, but instead decided to circle “no” every time the question arose, “Do you have a heart condition?”
Before you scold me, I am well aware of the danger this imposes on both myself and the people running the activities, however, if I always told everyone that, “yes I have a heart condition” then I’d never be able to do anything (even the Kid’s carousels at the theme parks state that you aren’t allowed to ride them if you have a heart condition). Besides, there is no one who knows me, my body and my heart better than, well…me!
Alas, over the course of 5 days, I crossed off things that I never even knew were on my bucket list.
The first surprise however, was on my bucket list. Well, kind of. I have always wanted to jump in one of the Commodores they race at Bathurst but I think the Hollywood Stunt Drivers experience at MovieWorld was much more exciting and up my alley-as you can most likely tell by the look on my face. Believe me when I say that driving is no longer exciting after you’ve drifted around a race track in a V8 Commodore just inches from another V8 commodore drifting around the same track. What a terrifying and exhilarating experience to be part of.
Also, massive shout out goes to the boys and women for their kindness, willingness to answer all questions, their generosity with their time and for ensuring, at all times, that I was not nervous and was having the time of my life.
That same night, things were a little more relaxed as we headed to the Australian Outback Spectacular where, once again, we received the VIP experience and were able to see all the behind the scenes action before watching an incredible show that really reminded me of two things; how much I damn well love this country and how remarkable the bond can be between human and animal. Not to mention, I was wished a happy birthday from one of the cast members in front of the pub before, all together, we sang “I am Australian/We are Australian” and “Give me a Home among the gumtrees” in true blue Aussie style.
Saturday, we were back to the Adrenaline-induced activities as we got to jump on some jet ski’s and ride them around the ocean (I have never in my life driven a jet ski before, let alone in the ocean, so this was ridiculously exciting) before we jumped on a jet boat and took an hour’s ride that consisted of getting drenched, screaming with fear and joy and wondering what would happen if the boat capsized whilst doing a couple of 360 turns over the waves. Out of all the activities, the jet boat took me the furtherest out of my comfort zone- it has always been something that I have feared and being in such an unstable position, on the choppy ocean, was an idea that totally freaked me out even though I have always been so comfortable on the water (our family water ski’s like…a lot). But, I never wanted it to end and I know I’d do it again (and again, and again, and again)!
As I mentioned, all my life I have been told what I can and cannot do and because of this, I decided to do the (possibly illegal) act of stating that no, I do not have a heart condition of any kind (let alone half a heart and tachycardia that can be brought on by sneezing) in all the forms I had to sign before taking part in these activities.
Maybe, as a concerned reader, a medical professional yourself or one of the people who witnessed me take part in one of these activities, you may be silently scolding me and I understand that; I truly do. But, can you imagine having to live your life where everything you want to do requires you to go to your doctor asking for the tedious act of getting together a medical certificate?
By the way, if you are the latter of the three types of people who may be reading this post, I really do apologise, but I hope you can forgive me knowing that you were part of the reason that I had the greatest five days of my life.
This entire experience was less so an act of rebellion and more so for the stories I’m now able to tell. I leaped out of my comfort zone and you know what? Each activity turned out to be the single greatest experience of my entire life. Sometimes, you’ve got to just say yes, if only for the stories.
Disclaimer: I most certainly do not encourage behaviour that goes against your doctor’s/medical advices. YOU must feel 110% comfortable with the situation and remember that only YOU know your body and only YOU know what you can and cannot do.