I'm Not That Brave

I guess it's pretty fair to say I've taken some risks in my life, especially in the last few years. I've bitten the bullet, taken the plunge, peed into the wind. I've been brave in the face of threats, of real potential danger, of adversity. I've tried new things, pushed boundaries, and busted out of my comfort zone.

But there are still some things I am just not brave enough to try. At least, not right now. Like:
Oil pulling. Supposedly, swishing a glob of coconut oil around in your mouth for 20 minutes a day is the secret to immortality, or something. Or it helps clean your teeth, pull toxins from your body, prevent cavities, clear your sinuses, cure migraines (?! – chronic sufferer here...), keeps you from being all hormoney, and grow back torn-off limbs. I guess it depends who you ask. Anyway, the idea is that when you're done swishing the oil around in your mouth like a chipmunk, you spit it out and it's a filthy, disgusting color that shows you all the ways you just magically healed your body. And I'm here to say that there is no number of proven health benefits that would make me want to do this and not actually gag at just the thought of it. Like I'm doing right now. NEXT.

Read Finnegans Wake. On a less disgusting note, Finnegans Wake by James Joyce is alleged to be "the most difficult-to-read book in the English language." It took the author 17 years to write and was published two years before his death, which no doubt was in some way caused by the toll it takes to write a book in basically made-up words. And while I love a challenge and am even working up the nerve to read Infinite Jest—an infamously soul-crushing reading experience—this summer, I just really don't think I'm emotionally stable enough to handle reading a book in a language I know and speak fluently and still have it sound like absolute gibberish.

Compete in a triathlon. I've got the running part down, sorta. But my family likes to joke about how I don't really do all that great on wheels, and it's not exactly undeserved. I'm fine in the car, but I've crashed on more bikes than I can count and there's even been a go-cart accident or five. Technically I know how to ride a bike. I'm just not good at it, and I wouldn't trust myself to put in the training a tri requires. Oh, and getting me in a pool? I don't really even know if it would be fully fair to say I know how to swim. Like, I don't know the "correct way" to do any real strokes. I can get in the water and not drown for hours, but moving swiftly from one place to the next unless a jellyfish is in the vicinity is not happening, and none of it's happening with even the smallest bit of grace. The real challenge here would be battling the sheer embarrassment that's bound to ensue in the first two legs of a triathlon. So I'll leave those to Tracy for now and stick to trying to run a marathon.

Race a Tough Mudder. Speaking of athletic things I'm not brave enough to do, I'm not sure any kind of mud event is in my near future. And honestly, I'm not afraid of the running part or the obstacle part. It's the mud part. And it's not because I don't want to get dirt under my fingernails; I can handle that. It's because there is absolutely no way to convince me that that's just mud in those mud pits. Yes, I'm imagining the worst and now making you think it too. You're welcome.

Go no-poo. When I realized that my hair could survive—oh, even thrive!—without daily washings, my life changed. Pushing my hair-washing schedule to every two, then every three days has been one of the best things for my wallet, punctuality, and sanity. But when I do have to clean my hair, it's going to be with shampoo. Because a) I use natural shampoo, and you can't convince me that dumping the ingredients for a science-class exploding volcano on my scalp is a better alternative to what I use; b) of all the things wrong with my body that I can blame on modernization, my hair/scalp isn't a concern; c) there are way worse things we put on our skin and into our bodies, and it seems a little hypocritical to ditch a personal hygiene product while still consuming sugar; and d) (here's the biggest one) my hair looks like the BP oil spill disaster on day 4, and I don't think anyone in my life loves me enough to overlook that mess for 2-6 weeks while I train my hair to not be an emergency scene without two-three washings per week.

But I'm totally down to go skydiving. Who wants to do it with me??


  1. Oh gosh I had totally forgotten that oil pulling was a thing. I actually just bought coconut oil for the first time (for a smoothie recipe) but I don't think I will be swishing it around in my mouth anytime soon.
    You are basically me before I did my first tri. Well, actually I started biking about a year prior (I was on running injury hiatus thanks to my Kinvaras and bored, didn't really plan on getting into triathlon), so I did take some time to get that down first. I'm just saying, you are more than brave enough to try it when/if you want to.
    I'm getting more and more annoyed at mud runs because apparently non-runners think that's the only kind of running event that one can or should do. I was telling my boss about my tri yesterday (we happened to be looking at a map of the area where the race was so it came up), and his first response was to ask me, "Was it a mud one? My son did a mud race once." I don't even think mud triathlons are a thing. Anyway. I'm not afraid to do a Tough Mudder, per se, I just don't have a lot of interest in them and now I want to avoid them on principle.

  2. This is a great post. I'm not brave enough to oil pull either, I think I'd gag because it just sounds disgusting! I also don't think I'll ever use dry shampoo, I like to use actual shampoo haha.

    Mud runs are fun if you're into them, but if not, totally skip cause they are dirty!

  3. i couldn't go no=poo either! and oil pulling doesn't work--not for me anyway--biggest waste and grossest thing i've done for beauty. it makes me gag thinking about it!

  4. OMG tough mudder! best race ever. i was so nervous to do it but it was one of the best days of my life!! the mud actually isn't bad at all; you really don't feel it because you're so pumped.

  5. Apparently with my curly rats nest of hair, no poo is supposed to be the best thing in the world for me. Um...I've kinda been washing my hair with normal shampoo for years and I seem to be doing okay. So no. And I hate all things coconut (minus the Girl Scout Cookies in their addicting goodness) so why would I want to swish it around my mouth ?!

    But you ARE pretty brave to run your first marathon in Raleigh...just sayin.

  6. I'm with you oil pulling no thank you - i just can't imagine having to swish for 20 minutes LOL! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

  7. I have a job in a real law office, I cannot go 2 to 6 weeks with a greasy mop on my head. I just can't. I'll stick with my shampoo!

  8. i totally want to go skydiving!!
    i thought about no poo for a hot minute then got the heck over it. i think you have to suffer through like 9 weeks (thats what one girl told me) of oily gross hair before it looks perfect. then what? sometimes i get stuff in my hair. like dirt, or bananas (don't ask) or paint. and that's not coming out unless i shampoo it. so, yeah no. plus my bestie is a hair stylist and she explained it with some PH words and other things I didn't understand about why it's not good. Plus, I'm not giving up sugar so I agree with you.
    I have heard about oil pulling but I'm with B, aint nobody got time to swish for 20 minutes. No.
    ewww about the tough mudder. i don't think i'm tough enough, anyway. but now i really don't want to, lol.
    and I lol'd at your triathlon. I've thought about it a few times - I can technically swim correctly, but I'm better at just not drowning and I too have fallen off more bikes than I care to admit. Plus, my brain is wired wonky - I cannot use the bike brakes. I use my feet. I don't know why, but I can never stop a bike with it's brakes. My mum would get SO mad because I'd ruin my shoes so much faster. Oops.

  9. I will join you in skydiving but not in giving up shampoo. Ever. I also enjoy the freedom washing only 2-3x a week affords me, but when I do wash, you bet your buttocks it's with shampoo.

    I have not enjoyed any James Joyce books. So don't feel bad about that one.

    I tried to do the oil pulling but I am lazy and wanted to spit it out after 15 seconds.

  10. AGGGGGH, oil pulling. I'm a chronic migraine sufferer too (YAYYY, high five!) and I keep hearing about all the benefits of "oil pulling" (the name alone grosses me out). But if it has the consistency of Crisco and you need to swish it around for TWENTY FRICKIN MINUTES? Nope. I can't. Oh and admittedly I'm intrigued by the no-poo thing... I have the oiliest hair in America and wonder if it would help to use baking soda or something....

  11. Lol! I've been doing oil pulling and it's not that big a deal. I honestly don't think it's that much different than using mouthwash, and it certainly doesn't change color, and I haven't noticed any of the plethora of health benefits. I wouldn't push it on anyone else, but I like it for me.

    I'm also interested in the no shampoo thing, so obviously I'm not on the same page as you. I can see your point about it being hypocritical to get all crazy with eliminating some chemicals and not others, but there's probably some benefit in reducing them even if you're not cutting things out entirely. I'd like to go in that direction eventually, but for now it's one baby step at a time.

  12. I did the oil pulling... for 2 days. It gagged me the entire time thinking of it in my mouth, not being able to talk - made me claustrophobic!

  13. The whole concept of oil pulling makes me nauseous. As does the idea of not using shampoo. However, I will attempt to read Infinite Jest at some point. I actually thought about, for next year, picking 12 long, daunting books that I've been too scared to tackle. Finnegans Wake is not on that list.

    I will watch you skydive. I'll take pictures from the ground. Or the plane. But no way in hell am I jumping out of it.

  14. Oil pulling is disgusting. I've done it and it's just gross. Imagine swishing around thick spit and it's... GAG! I have to stop. Next!

    I'm not brave enough for tough mudder. The running part I would fail at for one. The obstacles I could probably do some of them, but really, I don't want to be run over hot coals or run across an electrocuted puddle. Sorry, but no. No thanks on a triathlon as well. I've never heard of either of those books so now I need to find out more.

  15. I figured you'd totally be down for a tough mudder!! I've done two of them and you get over the mud, I promise. It's the electric wires hanging down over the mud that makes you squirm (and convulse).

    Can't wait to adventure with you someday in real-life reach-out-and-touch-you distance!

  16. Ok I've never heard of oil pulling but that sounds disgusting, and we all know that I'm not doing anything weird in the name of beauty. Screw that. And I'm out on triathalons and mud running as well, but mostly because I'm pretty lazy and that takes a lot of work!

    Unfortunately, I've already done skydiving and once was more than enough! But I hope you do it!!

  17. Oil pulling is cool in theory.. but in execution, not so much.
    I refuse to do tough mudders because I've seen the bruises and cuts people get after those races and NO. No I will not put my open wounds into water that hundreds of other people have wadded in with their bodily functions and nastiness. NOPE.
    And I completely agree with you about the no shampoo thing. I've thought about it and in theory it seems awesome.. but my hair would be nasty oily by day 3 and by day 4 I'd be smelly. A big glass of NOPE for that too.

  18. That would be a huge no for me too!! Oil pulling sounds completely disgusting to me and when the craze hit Pinterest I was like...are these bitches crazy? And ummmm I have the thinnest hair in the world, I CAN NOT go without shampoo for more than two days. Ever. Ever ever. And sorry friend, no sky diving either. Call me scaredy cat!

  19. Ha! Where do I begin?

    Oh, Finnegan's Wake... I couldn't even get through A Clockwork Orange with all its nonsensical vocabulary. It was a serious blow to my ego to toss that aside because I thought it was the kind of experimental thing I'd totally be down with. You're probably right that it killed him.

    Umm, I can't swim or ride a bike and it actually pleases me a little that you, as a like-minded adult, maybe can't really do either, either. Sorry, but I feel more justified in my stubbornness now. My family is starting to ride their bikes to the beach and restaurants and stuff and I'm that non-progressive dummy who's like, "Yeah, whatever, I'll take the truck and meet y'all there."

    Oil pulling is something that sounds right up my alley, but I haven't gotten around to doing it. I'm all about trying magical things that will stop my family from perishing too soon - bee pollen, organic apple cider vinegar, Himalayan pink sea salt, kale...

    And you know there's not REALLY shit in those mud puddles. But you should totally be the one to put some there next time Tough Mudder comes around. Hubby does Tough Mudder, by the way, and it's the ice water plunge that makes him hate it.

  20. LOL! I'm totally a big chicken- no skydiving for me! ;) I actually have been totally intrigued by oil pulling though... am I weird for NOT being grossed out?!

  21. I want something like oil pulling to work so bad-- it seems like it would be way too good to be true if something so easy could cure so many problems. But I can hardly gargle mouth wash, so the idea of coconut oil also completely grosses me out. I'm also with you on the tough mudder and thinking way too much about what could possibly be in all of that mud... haha, but I could totally see you doing a triathlon one day! And skydiving would be on the list of things I'm definitely not brave enough to do- but if you go I would love to hear about it :)

  22. Oil pulling just never sounded like a good idea to me! I mean the thought of it always freaked me the heck out. As for a triathlon I give Tracy sooooo much kudos for that. I can do all of the three things minimally and therefore would take maybe a year and a half to finish one! hehe


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