On Trust. And Never Ever Looking Back.
Forget that “life is like a box of chocolates” nonsense. Life is like a bungee jump.
I know, I know . . . back the jolly trolley up, didn’t I say the big bungee jump was going to be on June 6th?! Well, it is (and you should come along!), but there ended up being another. Yesterday.
I’ve got such cool, crazy friends. Crazy #1, Joanna, made the snap decision that, since she can’t make our scheduled group jump, she wanted to go anyway. Right now! I get a call from her on Sunday morning, informing me that the day’s registration at bungee.com had closed but, on their site, it looked as though there were potentially three spots still open. A quick call to fellow percussionist and Crazy #2, Steve, and about an hour later, we’re piled in a car, crossing the border into Washington! Not sure if they would even allow us to jump, we GPS’ed our way to the company’s private bridge outside of Amboy, cold hard cash in-hand.
So, this is where I go into how we got to do it, and how exhilarating of an experience plunging 200 feet over a river at 68.3 mph connected to a bunch of rubberbands was, and how we’re all going back again, this time to take a running leap off the bridge, right? Nah. All true, but that’s so yesterday. Borrrrrring- I wouldn’t want to put you all to sleep. 🙂
No, here’s the scoop, Sparky: what I want to share most with you is- all adrenaline sports aside- what I really learned on that bridge . . . about life.
Steve and I are standing at the edge, observing as other bungee’ers are each taking their turns and marveling at the many thick, strong elastic bands connected to the jumpers’ harnesses. He turns to me and asks, “what is it about our brains that doesn’t let us get beyond the fear of something like this?” He was right. You stand and watch person after person climb over the edge, throw their arms out, leap away from the platform and have the ride of their lives. One after another safely succeed in this feat, screaming about how incredible it was as they’re reeled back up to rejoin us. Some even [gasp] do it again right then and there!
We see over and over again that it’s safe. That others can do it- right before our very eyes. But many of us are terrified. Frozen in fear. What is it that disallows us from trusting in the system and just freaking going for it?
This happens everyday in many of the non-thrilling-seeking aspects of our lives. How many things have you seen someone else do, maybe even someone you personally know well, but still decided that, for some reason, you can’t? Why? What makes what is possible for him/her, impossible for you? What if you changed that paradigm. Imagine for a moment what might happen if you were to decide for yourself that, “I can do whatever the hell I want. On top of that, whether or not I’ve ever seen that anyone else can.”
Never ever ever ever ever look back
I’ll keep this one short. As we were driving away from the jump site, headed back to Portland for a celebratory cerveza, all sorts of excited conversations were bouncing between us. One of the biggest (and I think that this is HUGE) was a shared observation we had standing on that bridge. Put down the CrackBerry and pay attention . . .
Almost without exception, every single individual who so much as hesitated when the jumpmaster yelled out the countdown . . . did . . . not . . . do it.
“Wait, wait a second. Give me a bit. Uh . . . whew. Wow, I uh . . . okay, okay. [deep breath] Alright . . . [“Three, two-“] No, no, hold on. Hold on. I just need. Okay, s#!+, I can do this. Whew . . . uh, nope . . . nope, I’m climbing back over.”
I couldn’t care less if you ever want to leap off a bridge. I couldn’t care less. What I don’t want you to do is to EVER stop and second guess yourself when in pursuit of a personal life goal. What’s important to you? What eats at you day-in and day-out, deep down begging for you to give it an honest go. Whatever that thing is, if you’ve been putting it off until now, it’s probably because it’s scary. Am I right? A little scary to set out on that path? Maybe beyond scary, you’re petrified. Frozen in fear. Putting off that leap you want to take.
Do not hesitate. If you stop, look back and reconsider, you are almost guaranteed to quit.
Similar experiences? Please share in a comment below, pass this post along to your friends and join me in my group bungee jump on June 6th!