Watch these women ROAR

national geographic lions
Courtesy: National Geographic

Three women are giving it their all to save the lives of lions in Africa. Check out this National Geographic article about women on the move in the wild. Are you ready to roar, too? Let’s talk about different missions, projects, community service that gets you going.  https://medium.com/@garyknell/world-lion-day-meet-three-inspiring-women-working-to-save-lions-736bfac8cd4c?sf33008514=1#.nqtr441of

Eat, Shop, Explore…Sri Lanka

Oh the places you can go. How about trying a new locale off the beaten path…Sri Lanka. It’s beauty is waiting for you. Have you visited Sri Lanka? Tell us your experience. Are you eager to learn more before you visit. Tell us what interest you.  http://www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/destinations/asia/sri-lanka/know-before-you-go-sri-lanka/?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Social&utm_content=link_tw20160807travel-srilanka&utm_campaign=Content&sf32654247=1

Courtesy: National Geographic
Courtesy: National Geographic

 

Middle-aged? You can become an Olympian

You didn’t begin swimming at eight-years-old, or execute your first gymnastics vault at five. It takes years of practice and hard work to make the cut as an Olympian. You think without youth on your side there is simply no chance. Not true…you can become an Olympian at the ripe age of 50 or older. Check out these Olympians who are not youngsters, but who are still going for the GOLD! Imagine it…You, entering the stadium during opening ceremonies, your head held high…even if it’s full of grey hair. What an honor to be part of the chosen few. Your bones may not muster the 400 meter race, and you may not be quite agile enough for diving. There are still sports that are kinder to the more mature anatomy. What Olympic sport would you choose?

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 20: Bernard Lagat of The USA celebrates winning the Men's 2 Mile during the Sainsbury's Anniversary Games at Horse Guards Parade on July 20, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 20: Bernard Lagat of The USA celebrates winning the Men’s 2 Mile during the Sainsbury’s Anniversary Games at Horse Guards Parade on July 20, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images)
Britain's Jo Pavey crosses the line to win the gold medal in the women's 10,000m final during the European Athletics Championships in Zurich, Switzerland, Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Britain’s Jo Pavey crosses the line to win the gold medal in the women’s 10,000m final during the European Athletics Championships in Zurich, Switzerland, Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Germany's gymnast Oksana Chusovitina celebrates after winning the silver medal during the women's vault apparatus finals at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Sunday, Aug. 17, 2008. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Germany’s gymnast Oksana Chusovitina celebrates after winning the silver medal during the women’s vault apparatus finals at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Sunday, Aug. 17, 2008. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)
Phillip Dutton of the United States walks with Connaught during the veterinary inspection for the Eventing competition at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Hong Kong, Friday, Aug. 8, 2008. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
Phillip Dutton of the United States walks with Connaught during the veterinary inspection for the Eventing competition at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in Hong Kong, Friday, Aug. 8, 2008. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JANUARY 31: Australian Mary Hanna shows rthe gold medal she won on Mosaic II in the Volvo Pacific World Cup Dressage Final at the rTipapa indoor equestrian centre, saturday. (Photo by Ross Land/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND – JANUARY 31: Australian Mary Hanna shows rthe gold medal she won on Mosaic II in the Volvo Pacific World Cup Dressage Final at the rTipapa indoor equestrian centre, saturday. (Photo by Ross Land/Getty Images)

Giving to those in need…check out Dare Diva Mia in North Carolina

DDM serving in NC_6 DDM serving in NC_5 DDM serving in NC_4 DDM serving in NC_3 DDM serving in NC_2 DDM serving in NC_1

Dare Diva Mia and friends giving back and showing love in Charlotte, NC! We’re blessed to be a blessing! Let’s talk about giving. What is on your spirit to do to contribute to your community?

Volcano boarding…would YOU do it?

Why lounge on a lofty sundeck or drift on a floaty in a pool drinking a pina colada when you can board down a…VOLCANO! You heard correctly.There’s snowboarding and wakeboarding, but some folks have amped it up a whole other level. Check out these ten ways, NOT to chill while on your vacation. http://www.mensfitness.com/life/travel/10-death-defying-stunts-you-can-do-on-vacation/slide/7

courtesy: wanderpopins.com
courtesy: wanderpopins.com

Will I ever ride a hot air balloon again?

Up above Fenton, Michigan some 8,000 feet in a hot air balloon, fifteen of my pals and our pilot could see as far as Ontario, Canada. It was a perfect June evening, the winds were calm, no precipitation, just a clear, bright day.

The splendor of the horizons below seemed majestic: vast farmlands, rivers glistening, and treetops where only those with wings and sharp claws could climb. Our pilot glided us so close we could actually touch the tops of the trees, and like a kid I was gleeful to do what I couldn’t without the aid of this flying contraption.

When we reached about 9,000 feet, internally I began to panic. My brain did an assessment. There was no ladder, no safety harness, no net to capture us should we fall, and no parachute. The sixteen of us were nestled tight in this basket, with a vinyl balloon a tank of propane…a nightmare ready to ignite. What was I thinking? I inhaled slowly, took several short breaths as I viewed our sister balloon some miles away, it too grazing the skyline, assuredly buoyant, determined to stay its course. I calmed and listened to conversations onboard, took selfies, and recorded videos.

I focused on the moment, the air tousling my hair, the warmth on my neck, the smiles and excitement of my fellow passengers. I took it all in, including when we safely landed in a seven-acre field owned by a neighboring couple, who were surprised, but delighted to see us. Jubilant chatter about the next ride began. “What about a sunrise tour?” someone asked. “Fall…that’s the best time,” another passenger offered. And like that I quickly put behind me the frightful thoughts of earlier. One month later, July 30,2016, the horrific hot air balloon that crashed in Texas taking the lives of the sixteen onboard brought the world, and all of us who experienced our flight to a chilling pause.

The text messages I received were instantaneous. All to some degree saying, “See what happened?! Don’t do that again.” “Girl, that’s why I would never get on a hot air balloon.” “Sheri, you were so lucccckkky.”  The funny thing is, more people die in auto accidents and even in their sleep than death by hot air balloon. No one ever texts me to say, “See, that’s why I will never cruise on I-75 again,” or, “Forget about sleep, I may never wake up.” I get it though, ballooning is a thrill ride, an adventure dump, we really can’t avoid driving (at least not in Detroit) and certainly not sleeping. If you never get on a hot air balloon the chances are you will never die from one.

But, the euphoria. If a hot air ballon is not for you, or even hair raising things like sky diving, that’s ok.  But, I hope that you are always open to that quake in your heart, that flutter on your skin, that rapture of your soul. I dream of a Fall air balloon flight one day. Maybe, not soon. When I do, I will pray that all goes well. What do you think? Are there any adventures that make you pause?

Rallying bravery, honoring unity at 14,000 feet

We all were amped. We put on our Top Gun suits with pride, placed on our aviator sunglasses, got instructions about our parachute, walked toward the airplane like Navy Seals on a special mission, and boarded.  We pranced and danced and sang “To Infinity and beyond,” our little chant to fire-up courage and quiet fear.
 
I felt like a top-dog, until I was next up to skydive. With my tandem instructor behind me, I did the unthinkable. I looked down.  The wind violently coursed through my lungs as my tandem instructor counted, “1-2-3,” and then hurled us into the atmosphere. I felt like a boulder rushing to land. Nothing was in my control as I bolted toward earth with speed that felt like lightning. But, my spirit quieted and I relaxed.
Even before the second parachute deployed, softening the brutal speed, I knew God was holding my heart, and I was safe. The glide down was the best. I saw the beauty of earth…tops of trees, vast land, translucent sky, and tiny specs that were homes.
 
When all four DARE DIVAS jumped and landed, we formed a circle of love, hair tousled, sweat trapped inside our jump suits, laughing, hugging, and thankful it all ended with each of us solidly on ground and intact. 
 
There are times when you just have to jump, and you have to do it alone; but it is so sweet when you land and others are there to celebrate with you. That is why skydiving on that sweet August 2014 day with the Dare Divas was my favorite dare of them all.

 Find out how this thrilling skydive brought Sheri Hunter back to life. 

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