When I met my husband 17 years ago, his hobbies were foreign to me. Like many couples, we bonded over music, comedy, and movies, but I couldn’t relate to his other interests. He liked speed boats, while I was more of a pleasure cruiser. He enjoyed skiing all winter, while I preferred to hibernate with blankets and books. He loved scuba diving in the deep sea, while I went swimming in the not-so-deep surf. He drove fast cars while my idea of speed was running a 5K.
This began to change during a visit to his family’s lake house, a few months into dating. I arrived with my bikini and a stack of magazines, ready to sit in the sun and drink wine all day.
And that’s exactly what I did while he zoomed around on his water toys — until he convinced me to join him on the jet ski. I was nervous since I had never jet skied before. We glided along the lake with cool water and fresh air flying over us. I discovered that jet skiing was more fun than laying in the sun, and it made me wonder: What else am I missing?
That was the first time I discovered a new activity that I never would have tried without him. But it was only the beginning.
He encouraged me to try snowboarding, water skiing, and road cycling over the next ten years.
Then, we started having kids, and suddenly our only activity was “being mom and dad.” Outings like jet skiing and snowboarding grew rare. Quick dinner dates became our bonding time, and it never felt like enough.
I missed having adventures with my best friend, so when we finally planned a winter getaway to Lake Placid with just the two of us, I wanted to do something big.
My husband had visited Lake Placid as a teenager, and he raved about the Olympic bobsledding experience, so I decided to try it with him. I’m not a thrill seeker, so racing down an Olympic bobsled track was a huge step outside of my comfort zone.
When we arrived at the mountain, my spirits were high, but as I stared at the slick track and listened to the screams of the other riders, I wondered if I should have stayed away from this one. We rode in a rickety van to the top of the track where we were handed crash helmets and an agreement that waived the right to sue if we died.
Next, we met the bobsled drivers. They were nice, but honestly, I wouldn’t trust them to drive my Uber, let alone an open sled on an ice track at 60 M.P.H. My attempts at acting brave must have been failing, because my hubby started encouraging me with reminders that he had survived the bobsled years ago, and the people ahead of us were surviving as well.
Soon, my time for doubts ended and we climbed into the bobsled. No turning back. The timer sounded and we slid down the steep track.
I had fun for about 20 seconds. Then, the speed of the sled brought us sideways up the walls of the track, and I felt my organs pull sideways as well. The force caused my helmet to smash back and forth against the sled as we raced through more steep turns. Finally, we slowed to a stop and I heard my husband laughing behind me. I was silent, stunned, and proud. I had done it, and I was glad that I did.
Our adrenaline high lasted throughout the trip, and we were thrilled to tell friends and family about our crazy joyride. Now, it’s a legendary story that we will share for the rest of our lives. My husband helps me find the courage to conquer new challenges.
Since the bobsled, we’ve mostly spent time skiing and golfing. Maybe we’ll try another wild excursion soon. I’d push myself to try anything he’s interested in, especially since he says he will never try skydiving — thank you, God! I know I’ll never be bored with him as my best friend, and I’m looking forward to our next adventure.
Allison Kenien is a writer with more than a decade of experience in education, marketing, and sales. She lives in Syracuse, New York, with her husband and two children. When she’s not working, you can find her running, snowboarding, golfing, hiking, or chasing after her kids.