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THANKFUL FRIDAY

Cindy Maddera

The other night, I dreamed that Chris and I were at Six Flags. We were the first ones into the park and headed right back to the biggest, newest roller coaster. There wasn't a line, but we had to twist our way through a maze of ropes and up and down a narrow staircase. The staircase was the scariest part because it was dark and the steps were steep. When we finally made it to the loading station, the roller coaster car pulled up and the seats were just open benches without any kind of harness or lap belt. You just held onto the seat and hoped you had the strength to hold yourself down on the loops. Chris looked at me and said without saying (because Chris never talks in my dreams) "are you sure you want to ride this roller coaster?" but then a hoard of zombies entered the park before I could answer him. Michael and I had just watched the most recent episode of the Walking Dead. By the way, season eight is just plain awful and I don't think I care enough about any of the characters any more to watch.

I realize now that I never answered Chris's question about wanting to ride a roller coaster that was so very obviously dangerous. Dr. Mary gave me a handout from a lecture she did a while ago about seven things for functioning or something like that. She had me read the list out loud and when I got to the second thing on the list, I busted out laughing. Number two on the list had to do with recognizing dangerous situations and avoiding them appropriately. Then I told Dr. Mary about the time I drove an hour to have dinner at a stranger's apartment and how I didn't see anything wrong with this until I got there. Then it was a little bit creepy that the guy only had one light on, no heat and camp chairs for furniture, but I still figured that if I had to fight this guy that I totally could have taken him. I most of the time do not recognize a dangerous situation as being dangerous. This is why Talaura has a video of bison running down the road with Michael's voice clearly saying "get in the car, Cindy." 

A few days after this dream, I spent two minutes in supported fish pose. This pose feels nice between the shoulders but also leaves your neck exposed. I had been warned that I might get a wave of panic having my neck exposed while hanging out for two minutes in fish. You know, like having the feeling that a wild dog is going to come rip your throat out for no reason what so ever. Except I never did get that feeling. Actually, I've never had that feeling in this pose. I've never felt panic or fear in any yoga pose. Instead of fighting fear induced anxiety, I ended up fighting tears. My eyes welled up and spilled down the sides of my face. My throat is the first thing affected when tears attack. It closes up and I can't talk. I can barely even breath. Losing the ability to squeak out a word makes me furious, which in turn, makes me cry harder. It's usually pretty ugly. I wrinkled my brow and wondered why I was suddenly crying in fish pose and still able to breath.

It is not that I purposefully or willfully refuse to recognize a dangerous situation as maybe being dangerous. And don't think for a minute that I am not scared in these situations. It's just that stubbornness is the rock, while fear becomes the scissors in this game. Stubbornness wins every time. I love supported fish pose. I practice that pose ALL of the time. I never once thought about how my throat was exposed or the dangers involved in exposing your throat. Now, all I can think about is that scene from Roadhouse where Patrick Swazye rips that guy's throat out with his bare hand. This should creep me out or make me shy away from poses that expose my throat. Instead, I find it slightly hilarious. That scene is ridiculous, though if you ask the guys I work with, they'll say that it is awesome, in the same way that Bill and Ted are awesome. I am comfortable in dangerous situations, at ease, in my element and even can relax enough to cry. 

So yeah, I'd probably still ride that roller coaster, because that's the whole point and there's something worthy of gratitude in this somewhere. You don't know how anything is going to end, so you might as well enjoy the ride.