Linnie Aikens Arts and Letters • HeART Haven Studios

Return to Blog–Quiet Panáche


As I was walking one afternoon, I was inspired by the number of handgliders and parasailers out above me on the cliffs.  I was lucky enough to catch them by my camera.  How daring they were!  Two of my favorite recent quotes came to mind:


“To dare is to lose one’s footing momentarily.  To not dare is to lose oneself.” (Soren Kierkegaard) and “It’s never too late to be who you might have been.” (George Elliott)...too equally daring individuals in history...


Me?  I am an ordinary person in life--no celebrity or person of note.  Certainly no one on whom to base a book or quote!! And yet, my life has been a series of daring events--extreme sports of an emotional kind!  


  1. • The school deemed me “retarded” at age 5 with a 60 IQ.  I proved them wrong (but I’m glad I didn’t know then!!)

  2. • My parents told me they couldn’t send me to college.  I worked full time and put myself through a private college.

  3. • Don’t expect too much--the girls you’ve been competing against have been at it since they were 3 years old (on my desire to be a competitive gymnast at age 14.)  At age 17 I was All City #2 on the balance beam and floor exercise mat.

  4. • Admissions counselors told me I was one of the 1-2 they’d watched in college, afraid I wouldn’t fit in or make it.  After a double major and a minor and years of college-mates telling me how I’d inspired them in different ways, I was grateful I dared.  Thank GOD I dared!!

  5. • Therapists concluded I’d experienced too much trauma to be a productive, giving person.  Well, I wasn’t going to believe that!!...and I’ve proven them wrong too.  They now call me one of those few “miracles.”  Thank GOD I dared!!

  6. • You’re too shy to be a teacher, they said.     HA!   ...twenty five years later...

  7. • Don’t expect too much, they said of my limited English speaking students.  What?!  Of COURSE I expect great wonders from them.  They never fail me either! turn, they don’t fail themselves!

  8. • You can’t just go traveling alone my friends said.  I’ve hiked, camped, river rafted through 8 mountain ranges, 17 national parks, deserts, rivers....42 states and 13 countries...alone, or with my young daughter.  Alas, to NOT have dared would have been unthinkable!

  9. • They looked alarmed when I said I was going expedition kayaking in Alaska for 10 days...”You’re afraid of the ocean!”  Determined, I took classes to roll in my kayak and then swam in the Alaskan waters every day at a new island and faced a 4 mile channel crossing with rough waters to prove I DARED!

  10. •I heard the calling to follow my dreams, resisting, afraid for a time... Last year I dared!  Quit my job and ended up with my dream job of a lifetime.  Each day I awake absolutely THRILLED to go to work!

  11. •You’re not really very talented in writing and art were the messages I’d received.  Well maybe there were others more talented than I, but I kept working at it; doing something with what gifts were given me.  To NOT dare, would have been telling God that I didn’t appreciate or respect that creativity which he’d instilled in me from birth.

  12. •Never in my life would I have tried a martial art.  Each practice, I am humbled anew at my 12 left feet, and yet I am stronger, more assured of myself and ability to protect myself and others, because I dared.  

  13. • At every point in life someone cautioned me against expecting too much; I reached for the moon and still find more stars in my grasp than I can ever count.


No matter how old I grow, I will always life, in spirit, in heart.


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