What would you sacrifice to follow your dreams?

Since choosing to become a stay-at-home mom instead of pursuing a serious career in music, I’ve had to check myself several times over the years to remind myself that wiping messy, happy little faces and playing trains on the carpet is worth so much more than the recognition of fans and thousands of dollars. I consider myself very lucky to have been able to experience two of my biggest dreams, in and outside of the home.

When I was first married and starting out my career, I was on tour five days a week for four months out of the year. I’d see my husband every Friday through Sunday, then it was back to the road. It was very difficult for me, but it was what I thought I wanted, what I had worked towards my entire life.

In the end, spending so much time away from my husband emotionally wore me out and I ultimately decided that I wanted to spend my life with him, not away from him. This was a path I chose for myself.

But for some, following their dreams means taking risks that put them in physical danger.

I wonder what I’d do if I were Sarah Burke, four-time winner of the X Games who is now in a coma due to injuries caused by a bad fall during a training run in Park City this weekend. Her life has just been majorly altered, her dreams possibly re-routed because of an accident, not by conscious choice.

Kevin Pearce, another talented snowboarder following competitively in the footsteps of Olympic gold medalist Shaun White, also had his life rearranged for him due to a very similar experience back in 2009 when he suffered a severe brain injury that left him with poor eyesight, a diminished memory and several months worth of rehabilitation just to be able to accomplish everyday tasks. This awakening has caused Pearce to let go of his snowboarding dreams.

“Putting myself in a place where I can get hit in the head is so not worth it now,” Pearce said. “After going through this, just jumping on a snowboard and cruising around is enough for me. That’s how I’m feeling now. That’s where my head’s at.”

While it’s uncertain how serious or sustained Burke’s injuries may be, her husband is confident that she’ll pull through, telling the Vancouver Sun that she is a “very, very strong woman” and “will be fine.”

So where do you draw the line on taking risks to follow your dreams?

Hearing reports of an Australian woman who fell into a river and was forced to swim to shore with her legs tied together because her cord snapped while bungee jumping has reaffirmed my perspective on taking undue risks.

But on the other hand, I don’t think you should be afraid of living. Some sports such as bobsled racing, downhill skiing, snowboarding and even football come with serious risks to the athlete. But there are many people living out their dreams doing these things every day who would say it’s worth it.

What risks do you think are or are not worth taking when it comes to following your dreams? Do you think that’s something you discover along the way?

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