Saturday, August 14, 2010

Wild Card Weekend - WHY NOT? With Lynne Marshall

This WildCard Weekend, Medicals author Lynne Marshall asks what's holding you back from saying "Why not?"


Last November I suffered through one of those major birthdays. I dreaded it. Cursed it. Decided to start counting backwards from then on. The funny thing is, instead of slumping into depression, the less-than-welcome event seemed to have pushed me into a new direction. I didn’t feel different, or look different, but something had changed about me. This new “change” better known as “attitude adjustment” didn’t appear immediately. No, it waited stealthily until this year, 2010, to surface. It started subtly, when my husband bought himself a motorcycle. (Yup, he had one of those major birthdays too!) I told him the bike was all his, don’t expect me to ride on the darn thing. But when the invitation came on one particular Sunday afternoon, a lovely, sunny day, I couldn’t think of an honest reason to refuse. The new attitude I mentioned emerged, “Why not?” I said.

It was a wonderful experience. I enjoyed this new view of the world from the back of a bike. And the big news was, I wasn’t scared like I thought I’d be. A few years back, while on vacation, my husband had talked me into riding on the back of a Sea doo and I white knuckled my way over the waves, never glancing beyond the back of my husband’s neck! I expected something similar to happen on the bike, but the motorcycle ride was a completely different experience. No longer sheltered in my car, I could smell the mustard plants and sage bushes along the road. The sky seemed so much closer, and the wind made me hunker down in my scarf and feel cozy nestled behind my husband’s back. I loved peering through the borrowed helmet at a new world from a completely different perspective. And I wasn’t the least bit nervous! Now I’m the proud owner of my own helmet and really cool jacket – but don’t get me wrong, I have no plans to get my own motorcycle!

The next month, I was working on a writing project where the heroine needed to use a gun. I’ve never touched a gun! I’ve always professed to detest them. Surprising myself once again, I asked my husband to let me hold his 38. He offered to take me to the firing range, but I wanted some hands on experience first. The next thing I knew, I had enrolled in a basic firearms class and now I go regularly for target practice! As they say, who’d a thunk!

I glanced back at my prior self noticing a couple of veils of timidity had slipped off. I seemed a bit more in focus, and decided I liked this new “Why Not?” version of myself. (Now if I could only figure out how to look this gorgeous!)

In May, my husband and I went on vacation in Kauai and when he suggested we go Zip lining, my fear of heights didn’t have a chance to voice it’s concern before I said, “Why not?”

From the minute those words left my mouth, an old knee-jerk fearful reaction took a step back. I didn’t dwell on what was planned for the next day. I stayed focused on the mesmerizing ocean and thick rainforest surroundings of this gorgeous island, and I felt strangely calm. This wasn’t one little zip line, no, we’d signed up for a four hour trip with nine different zip stations of varying heights and distances. What had come over me? Was I defying death? Refusing to be ruled by irrational emotion or common sense?

When the next morning came, instead of getting all nervous and jittery, I decided to focus on looking out, not down, as they clicked me into the harness. My hard hat was firmly in place over my cute, pink ball cap with Kauai embroidered on the brim. Strangely, I remained calm as I ran to the edge of the platform and took flight over the treetops and valleys, the exuberance of the moment lifting my spirits along with my pulse. My landing was rocky but fun and I found myself looking forward to my next ride. By the last Zip, a 1200 foot line, I could barely wait! I ran toward the edge of the platform, curled my hands around the cable, tucked my knees close to my chest to make myself go faster, and leaned way back. The zzzzz of the cable had now become a welcomed and comforting sound. Suspended in time, I passed above a creek lined by dense, green vegetation. I heard the trickle of water. Saw a bird flying nearby. I took a slow, deep breath, and in that moment, I knew in my soul what soaring felt like.

What “Why not?” moment have you had lately? Do share!

One commenter will receive a copy of my latest Medical Romance – The Heart Doctor and the Baby – the second installment of my Midcoast Medical Santa Barbara series.


  1. Lynne,

    You do look that gorgeous. Your post made me so excited and happy for you and then the last part about soaring brought tears of joy.

    Hmm - I don't know what "why not?" moments I have had of late, but I am now going to go look for some.

    Why not?


  2. Good for you. I've been on a motorcycle before, but the heights thing would keep me from going for the Zip line. I think the only why not moment I've had lately was to turn a hairdresser loose on my hair to cut and highlight, which I'd never had done before. I just told her I trusted her and sat there and let her do her thing. I had lost a lot of hair due to a medication I was on for my severe RA and when it grew back it was bushy and frizzy. She took all the yucky hair off and now it looks like my old hair again. I'm really enjoying my new cut and color.

  3. Lynne - I love your story. I love when I seek out new things, even if it's just to break with the norm and listen to different music for a change. Definitely makes me feel younger when I try some adventurous, like a new scary ride at a theme park!!

  4. Hi,
    I agree totally. Here's to trying out new things.

  5. Wonderful post, I need to think about this and reach out to try new things. Thanks!

  6. Great post, Lynne. Good for you! Vacations do seem to inspire some of those "why not?" moments, don't they. Last time we went to Maui and went on a wonderful hike, I had a lot of those moments. I pretty much followed my boys around - swinging from a "tarzan" rope into a waterfall, sliding down a natural rock slide, jumping 10 feet into a clear, freshwater pool, even took surfing lessons and got up on the board several times! We're going to Maui in a week - maybe I'll have to look into that zip lining! Enjoy being a "wild thing" on the back of that bike!

  7. Inspirational, Lynne. Just inspirational. I always loved that Flora ad on the TV about doing something that scares you every day. Something to get the heart pumping.

  8. My first husband had a motorbike that I was terrified of. I decided to conquer my fear and sign up for the onroad test. It went fine even though I was shaking, then I went for the licence test. Unfortunately a car came around the corner on the wrong side of a road and I ended up in a ditch with a broken leg! Have to say it didn't hurt, argued with instructor telling him he better not fail me, then argued with the ambulance drivers (as I knew them) saying I was fine. Then they took my boot off...
    Your post is great Lynn, go you!

  9. First off, let me apologize for being late to responding to your comments. I made another "why not" decision when I booked a flight home from Williamsburg, Virginia on Friday the 13th! Didn't get home until well after midnight - so I'm tardy!

    Now, on to your comments!

  10. Hi Mia!

    Hmm, I'd say you definitely had one of those "Why Not" moments when you ran for president of LARA!

    : )

    I'm glad you enjoyed the blog!

  11. Hi Linda!

    Oh, good for you letting a hairdresser loose on your hair! That takes a lot of guts, and I'm glad, in your case, it turned out for the best! I've had a horror experience in that regard where I went home, sat down, and cried!

    Here's hoping your RA behaves itself and that you and your hairdresser have a long and happy relationship!

    best wishes,


  12. Hi Charlene!

    Scary rides at theme parks - Oh my!

    I like the fun rides and tend to shy away from those roller coasters, but once in a while I get talked into it. Picture me with that silent scream look. I usually leave on wobbly knees.

    Thanks for commenting!

  13. Thanks Janie!

    I'm with you, why not try something new? Though I have my limits and I don't see myself eating bugs in the near future!

    Thanks for stopping by.

  14. Hi Marilyn!

    I'm so glad I've nudged you in a new direction. Let me know what you try!

    Thanks for commenting.

  15. Hi Carol!

    I'm grinning visioning you doing all of those adventurous things you described. That is the beauty of having kids, they do keep us young.

    For those who know Acadia National Park in Maine, my family (husband, two kids) hiked up the Beehive! As I mentioned in the blog, I have a fear of heights, but I wasn't going to let my kids know how scared I was. I just kept looking up and climbing. Holy cow, I can't believe I did that!

    Have a wonderful vacation. Our zip line trip was on Kauai, but I'm sure they have many of them in Maui, too.

  16. Wow! One of my author crushes from Mills and Boon read this blog!

    Hi Liz Fielding :-)

    I'm thrilled to think I've inspired you. There is something about adrenaline pumping through the ticker, though I'm not proposing people do dangerous things in order to feel it. Finishing a book and sending it off can create the same sensation, am I right?

    Thank you for reading and commenting on the blog!

  17. Oh, Susan!

    I think your story is a perfect example of adrenaline taking over and camouflaging pain, right? I certainly hope your leg healed properly, and you've given me second thoughts on those Sunday afternoon rides!

    I believe motorcycle riders and bicyclists need to be extra cautious.

    Thanks so much for commenting.

  18. I admire your energy, and I know what you mean about major birthdays changing things without one being so aware of it. I must confess my current 'Why Not?' is whether to try my husband's extra hot curry, instead of sticking to my dull Korma next time we're ordering an Indian meal. I may wimp out, of course!

  19. Oh, Alison,

    I am a total wuss about hot/spicy food. I don't understand how anyone can taste anything once their taste buds are burned out!

    Sometimes, sticking with what makes us happy is a good thing. And won't hubby share if you ask him nicely? : )

    Thanks for reading the blog!

  20. Wonderful post! You have inspired me to try something that scares me!
    I haven't been very adventurous lately. My last Why Not? moment was Why not have that chocolate?

  21. Hi Chey!

    Oooh, why not have that chocolate?

    Trying something knew doesn't have to involving taking a huge risk. I think Charlene Sands said something about trying out new music, and I would extend that to include trying out a new foreign film. My husband and I recently saw an Argentinian moving called something like - The Secret in Her eyes (not sure that is the exact name) and found the film to be fantastic!

    There's so much to try out there in the big wide universe, eh?

    Now pass me some of that chocolate, please? :O

  22. AND THE WINNER IS! ....


    Marilyn, if you would please contact me via my website (it is linked to my name) and give me your address, I will have the book mailed out to you on Monday.


    And thanks everyone for your fun comments and encouraging remarks.

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
    Lynne Marshall

  23. Lynne: How great that you've proven that taking risks and experiencing new things isn't just for the very young, but also the young at heart!

  24. Hi Linda!

    Thanks for reading and commenting. As the saying goes - youth is wasted on the young!