A second wave came by and I was able to use it’s height to hoist my body up.
From there, the assent was somewhat easier…so long as I didn’t look over the side.
My anxiety was building.
I knew this wild hair wasn’t well thought out…but the rush I was looking for was building all the same.
When I made it to the top, there were a group of us hanging back, watching the locals flip and do back dives. Some were giving
stupid adventure-seeking tourists like me advice on “how not to crash into the rocks, dude.” I listened intently.
But then another jumper caught my notice.
He was standing on the edge getting ready to make his jump.
He’d been there a while and was practically wringing his hands.
One local was spending time with him, encouraging and telling him it really wasn’t all that far down…that it just seemed that way. Finally, when he could tell the jumper wasn’t listening to a word he said, he backed away and looked at our group and said, “you just can’t stand there and stare at it or you’ll never do it.”
It was obvious he was paralyzed with fear.
I knew in that moment that if I took my sweet time, I’d never make the jump, either.
When the poor guy backed away, I looked around me and made eye contact with the pack. No one seemed to be inching forward.
With a shaky voice, I said “is anyone going to go next?”
I looked to the local. “Is it clear? Is it clear?”
My voice quaked even more.
The local looked.
“Yaw girl, it’s clear.”
From the back of the rock, I took three giant steps, without giving it any more thought.
The third step was out over nothing.
Before I could even begin screaming, my arms and legs bicycled into the air as if they’d keep me steady.
And then the fear came racing out of my lungs in a scream that my parents heard all the way down the beach.
I hit the water fast and my lungs burned. But then my body remembered where the surface was and how to reach it.
When I burst through the surface, I took a huge breath and started laughing uncontrollably. When I caught my bearings I realized there was a group of people yelling and clapping from above.
“That’s how you do it, dudes. You just jump!”
It’s been a couple of years since I made that jump, but while vacationing in Hawaii two weeks ago, I went by that big rock and smiled, remembering the adrenaline rush and also that poor guy who tried to jump before me.
He’d been given great advice and wasn’t alone, but that risk was just too much for him. And because he didn’t take the chance, he missed out on an awesome ride – it just as easily could have been me.
And it often is me.
I’m often stuck in a rut and miss awesome rides on the daily.
My God offers me incredible opportunities every day and because of my fear, because of my feeling of loneliness, because I reject great advice from the people who love me, I just don’t make that jump.
But I’m going to try to change that.
I want to take more chances.
I want to say yes more.
I want to jump out into nothing, screaming and flailing my arms and legs about with no control, and I want to laugh the laugh from the one Above.
Because I know He’s there and that He’s the giver of great joy.