“Danger Zone” – Kenny Loggins

I was a 6th grader when Tom and the boys first played beach volleyball on the big screen. That really explains so much of my next few years. Of all of the movies I watched in my coming of age years, there were few that felt as dangerous as Top Gun. Kelly McGillis and Meg Ryan were badasses. Give me Iceman…any.freaking.day. Anthony Edwards stole my heart as Goose and made me a loyal Mark Green fan forever. And I tolerated Maverick. (I’m sorry…he has just never been my thing. I’m going to call that discernment at the wise old age of 11.)

I knew it was coming. How could you live in America in the spring of 2022 and not know? Oh, Maverick. So I did what all good moms do, I took the kids. To say that I loved the movie is an understatement. I cried too many times to count. But what I’ve come to realize in the months that have passed is that watching that movie on the big screen, with all the genius throwbacks to the original, took me back to a place that I need more of.

If it has been a minute since you heard this song, stop. Seriously. Listen. And when I say listen, I mean from your motorcycle riding, aviator glasses wearing, permed hair loving soul. As this song was reintroduced to my insides, the excavation had a new cellar to explore. What was this untamed need to risk? To risk in ways that I knew could hurt me? To risk things that I have always been told we’re irresponsible? To have less caution and more questions. My insides needed to risk being wrong for the sake of the adventure.

The world that I have lived in has never invited untamed risk. Especially if said risk could produce a harmful outcome or cause my heart to hurt. Excavation has taught me that risk is the magic. When my heart flutters and my hands get a little shaky, I listen now. I spent many years turning that feeling off in the name of holiness. If you have seen the musical the Book of Mormon, I could literally “Turn it Off.” Along with anything that I decided could lead my thoughts or actions astray. And excavation has brought me to a new world.

Kenny. Damn. Loggins.

I’ve literally pointed my fighter jet toward things that my insides (even as I type these words) have long since covered in caution tape and a flight response. I’ve done it all because I wanted to feel. FEEL. Even if that meant that the feeling I was about to examine was hurt or pain or even heartbreak. And I’ve had them all. I’ve sat with some of the most unwanted discomfort because I made choices to risk this year. I have stretched into new friendships, new experiences and new roles. And in that process I’ve risked too much sometimes. AND THAT IS OK!

What a freeing moment it is to move from a life of intentional avoidance to one of non-judgmental curiosity. Even in the danger zones.

I didn’t know the storyline of Maverick when we went to the theatre. I didn’t know that Goose would live on. I knew that Val was not quite Ice, but I was not prepared for how many of the details that made that risk taking beauty of a silver screen classic come to life would be recreated. It was a reminder of my excavation today. There is more to discover. There are more stories to tell. And even though things feel really dangerous and risky, there is some beach football in the future. No need to cry about the volleyball. It lives on. Thanks, Miles.

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