This morning when I prepared to drive Ika Rose to the park for her morning walk, our cat, R.C., bolted through the door and followed us to the car. He seemed to be asking to go along. Really? Since when does a cat want to go for a car ride? My first thought was to hurry him back into the house, but then the Spirit of Adventure overtook me, and I tossed him into the car with the dog.
He intoned the all too familiar, “Cat in a Moving Car Blues,” throughout the mercifully short trip to the park. I’ll admit I chuckled a bit, thinking he had probably learned his lesson by the time we arrived, but I was wrong. He was still brimming with curiosity as he observed Ika trotting onto the walking path. R.C. jumped out of the car, too, quickly surveyed the area, and then strolled confidently in the direction of the dog.
My own adventurous spirit in high gear, I jogged to catch up and then established myself as the leader of the motley pack. In the pre-dawn light, we made it twice around the one-third mile track before a jogger showed up. That sent us down a rugged trail, following a creek about a quarter-mile through the woods behind the park. Yes, the cat kept up and seemed to be having the time of his life. Occasionally he would cry to be picked up, ride on my shoulders for a brief time, and then leap back onto the trail and run after the dog.
As much fun as this adventure was in retrospect, the actual experience was interwoven with nagging concern. There was a persistent voice reminding me that “Cats don’t do this sort of thing! You know they can’t be trusted. What if he runs off? You’ll never catch him!” and so on. I listened but kept walking, more engaged than fearful.
Now with all three of us safely home, I feel exhilarated. I took a risk. I had an adventure because I stepped out of my comfort zone. My willingness to move through my own discomfort allowed my cat to have an adventure, too. When we grow, those around us have an opportunity to grow, too.
This morning was a good reminder that I am constantly choosing the quality of my life experience and that nothing extraordinary ever happens inside my Comfort Zone.