We have some new daughters now, we call them “The Asian Chicks”. Actually that is what they call themselves.
Nicky is a fighter. I mean a real fighter like in kickboxing. She hasn’t gone pro because she wants to keep it as a hobby, but training and fighting are what her days revolve around. I met her at Danny Dring’s several years ago. We didn’t talk a whole lot, mostly because I didn’t have a lot of breath after working out in one of his classes. We actually started talking more the last couple of months I was still in Little Rock than the couple of years before. Isn’t it funny how that happens? When you know you aren’t going to see someone on a routine basis you start talking a lot more.
I got an email from Nicky a couple of months ago asking if my invite to come visit was still open. And could she bring a couple of friends? Spring Break?
So we hosted Nicky, Kayla and her sister Allie for a week. Kayla and Allie are part Thai. Nicky is Filipino. Kayla is actually a professional kick boxer. All three girls are sweet and fun and drop dead gorgeous.
Steve now has a new nickname…STEVE O! Always with an exclamation mark. I think he is ok with it, it’s better than the special nickname that Keely has come up with. I’m not permitted to tell anyone that one and she is the only person in the whole world that can call him that.
When we were driving to Salida we got into a conversation about dinosaurs. Nicky had us all laughing until we cried about some of her comments and questions. That’s when I came up with my special name for her…”The Incognito Blond”. If you know Nicky, you’ll understand why that is a really good nickname for her.
Here is what those girls did in one week
Sleep (OK, they had to get over jet lag and fatigue from messed up flights, plus the altitude out here takes some getting used to)
Snowboarding at Monarch
White Water Rafting in Canon City
Zip line in Salida
Skydiving in Penrose
Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs
Hiked Red Canyon and Skyline Drive
Steve and I didn’t participate in the skydiving or snowboarding, but we did all the other stuff with them. And we had a blast.
I wasn’t too sure about the skydiving adventure. But I figured they were all adults and they could make their own decisions. So I took a lot of pictures and video. They all said that skydiving was one of the highlights of the trip.
The next week someone died skydiving at our airport. The skydiving master that Kayla jumped with was critically injured and his jumper died. Obviously one of my first thoughts was that it could have been one of my girls. I can’t imagine what it would have been like to see them falling through the air with no parachute. I can’t imagine what it would have been like for the other two to watch that. I can’t imagine making a phone call to their parent.
Look at the list of things that we did. Death or injury was possible in every single one. Well, driving through Garden of the Gods is a bit of a stretch but we could have had a car wreck going to or from.
There is something about risk, about danger, that gets the adrenaline going and makes us feel alive. Nicky was much more of a risk taker than Kayla, Allie and me when it comes to jumping around on rocks. She is a lot like Steve actually and I had to go into Mom Mode a several times and tell her “no you may not jump 10 feet from one rock to another!”
Everybody has their own threshold of fear and an acceptable ratio of fear to excitement. Some people live here and have never been whitewater rafting, while I’ve been 7 or 8 times. They have looked at the stats, evaluated the risk, and decided not to try it. And that is ok.
I see people jumping out of airplanes at our little airport down the road from us almost every day. Watching the girls jump made me strongly consider doing it. In fact, Steve and I talked about it a couple of weeks before when we met the owner of the new skydiving business at the airport. We talked about it again after visiting with him last week and talking about the tragic accident. Bottom line is it is a sport, with inherent risks. And we may give it a try. Sometime.