It’s one thing standing at the edge of something sheer and imagining jumping off. In fact, I have spent years fantasising what it would feel like just before a bungee jump. But the reality of standing at the edge of something sheer just before you actually jump, is genuinely terrifying. This however wasn’t a bungee jump I was preparing for, this was a 20ft jump into the water below.
I’d reached the top of the scramble and looked back – loose rocks, soggy soil and a dodgy rope – there was no way I was climbing back down there. There was only one other option; to jump. Beth stood peering over the edge and began questioning her courage. It was hard to understand why she hesitated as my view only reached as far as her feet and I stood thinking to myself “Go on, jump!”
The seconds felt like minutes and as the fate lay in someone else’s hands my nerves remained intact. Excited encouragement came from below, echoing over the sound of the waterfall to our right.
She did it! My proud self took me to the edge of the rock face to give a wave and a thumbs up. The sudden realisation that it was my turn sent my stomach churning and my mouth dry. Why was I here? Could I jump? Why did I want to jump? The noises from below made no sense any more but I was aware that somebody was approaching from behind. Backing out now would leave only regret and a question of what if.
The overpowering urge to leap off of the edge and the contradictory feeling of my body resisting to such an unnatural desire had me literally rocking on the spot. Without warning my legs decided to take off. I could do nothing but scream as the falling feeling kicked in – I felt helpless and vulnerable. And then it was over. I hit the water sitting down, a pose I can only imagine created to attempt an escape from the water at the very last second. It stung.
But as my head breached the water and I opened my eyes, a rush of adrenaline came over me and sent me into a frenzy of giggles. I may have just voluntarily scared the bejeezes out of myself but it made me feel alive, frightened and proud and I was surrounded by people who had just experienced the same.
All I can say is if you’re ever presented with a situation that tempts you but you can’t explain why; jump! It’s all very well coaxing somebody else to do something you like the look of but if you never give it a try, you’ll never know what it’s really like. Life is supposed to scare you at times, but the real thing you have to focus on is the feeling of accomplishment when whatever it is, is completed.