“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

“Dad’s been in a bad accident, you need to come home.” My mom’s voice shook with tears on the phone.

It was the May before I started at HBS. My father had been in a terrible bicycle crash that left him with multiple facial and spinal fractures, as well as a severe concussion that would require brain rehabilitation.

I had been living abroad, and planning to come here next year, chasing all my big dreams but actively crafting a life that took me away from those I loved. A life that suddenly felt very risky, and I considered not attending HBS in order to stay closer to home.

Then I visited my dad in rehabilitation. He was playing guitar, writing songs for his next album, and chatting about projects going on at work he couldn’t wait to get back to. He and my mom were laughing at stories from their days backpacking across Europe, reminiscing about our recent family trip to New Zealand, and planning their next exotic travels, seemingly unfazed by the walker Dad was using and the nurses around him.

Life is not about risk prevention. It is about chasing the things that make your heart beat a little faster.

— Andrea Heckbert