If you know me, you’ll know that I love mother nature and all that she allows me to witness and experience. But – if you really know me, you’ll know that as much as I love mother nature, I am either afraid of or extremely cautious in the presence of her wonderment.
So – when it comes to creatures like lizards and spiders and pretty much any insect/reptile/amphibian/mammal/human that can fly, crawl, bite, scratch, or make a sound… my guard goes up 100%.
And – when it comes to open water, deepish natural pools, rocks, most flora, and fauna, etc. – you’ll know that I love them but I also respect them enough to the point where we rarely have intimate interactions.
So with that reminder/background/introduction – my next set of words may or may not surprise you.
I recently went road tripping with a few friends, friends of friends and their family. Our destination was The Blue Hole which can be found along the waterway of the White River (which at some points flows along the border of St. Ann and St. Mary in Jamaica.
We all wanted a getaway from the loudness, and hustle & bustle of the more trafficked towns and cities where we either work or live. And, a road trip was what the doctor ordered.
The sights along the way included police speed traps, mystical and etherial looking roadways overarched with trees of all kinds, and random people stopping on the highway to take their IG photos. You know, sights perfect for countless photo opportunities.
But our goal was to get to the Blue Hole.
We made it – found our special guide, Clinton, whose name we had to drill in our heads before meeting up with him (we called him Clifton, Clyde, Carlton, and every other C name). But we got it right once we met up with him.
My friends and I (best cheer squad ever) + our guide. (Our guide….bless his soul).
There were a few ladies eager to sell and rent water shoes (is that even the right name?), a rastaman selling marijuana cakes aka weed brownies and random men gawking, making verbal advances at you, men and women selling their wares (touristy stuff) and regular persons who also wanted to enjoy the river. It was pretty busy. – I consider these as checkpoints and distractions.
Once we got settled, there was a new goal.
Have fun and prepare to jump.
This, by the way, is my new mantra.
We hiked from the parking spot to a high point along the river channel. As we went up, we passed over and through a series of rocks, mini waterfalls and pools -some shallow and some deep. Some of these pools are so deep that they allow for diving and cannonballs.
The reality started to kick in that I committed to doing the jump. Man, I was so scared.
My heart rate increased and beads of sweat fell down my face. But, no one knew cause I was a bit winded from the hike (heart rate explained) and I was wet from passing through water before (water streaming from sweat glands explained).
So, we made it to the highest point that we were comfortable with and decided to take a plunge into the first pool. It took some encouragement but I eventually jumped! My friend who did the jump before was supposed to jump with me but she couldn’t do it at the last minute as she was overcome with fear.
She let go of my hand! That was when my nerves went haywire.
After that frightening jump, my adrenaline was in peak form.
In addition to the established fact that I was afraid, there was an innate desire to jump. I sort of viewed the pool below as my life (good times, bad times and times unknown). I saw a quote recently that reads:
The only way to understand a river is to jump into it.
Those words resonated with me because of the haunting truth. You have to wholeheartedly immerse yourself into situations in order to understand and eventually master them.
The river and that jump (and the jumps thereafter) became my life – fears, hopes, achievements, and lessons.
Let me also say that our guide was great. He ensured that we were safe and made it up, over, across and down the river whole. He was our guiding hand, part of the needed reassuring voice. Without him, our experience would not have been possible.
I mean, the distance between the jump point and the pool wasn’t long… but – you have to realise that the view of the jumper is totally different than that of the encouragers. And naturally, the states of mind would also vary.
The first jump was the warm-up.
As we descended the waterway, I made my second jump. The distance was even shorter but I was so hyped from jump 1 that it didn’t take much prodding.
The first two were lightweights. When I got to the third jump point, I got scared again and almost backed out. I felt as though I couldn’t do it alone. So I asked someone to jump with me.
If you didn’t know – I’ve been scared shitless of what this new stage in my life (age 30) will bring, I was also scared to make that jump. So as I heard the countdown to jump, I closed my eyes. I hesitated a bit but before I knew it, I was in mid-air wondering how long it would take for me to hit to water.
For those few seconds, I felt so free.
Splash! I did it!
Taking the plunge gave me all the confidence. If I can jump into a deep pool of water, I can conquer any ole obstacle I face on land. Of course – I envision that facing obstacles may be difficult, but if I can jump then anything is possible.
After the last jump, the new goal was this:
Keep Jumping! Face the fear and conquer it!
Caught in Mid Air?
My second and third jumps were not caught on camera but the first jump was. The first 1-2 seconds are pretty hilarious and I assure you that the dive was not graceful. But the struggle is part of the process to greatness. The last half of the video shows you how my victory feels.
Watch the video below!
Lessons in Jumping.
- Don’t psych yourself out too much. You may tell yourself that what you need to accomplish is a mammoth task and never unlock another level to your greatness.
- Though people watch you from a distance, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t cheering you on.
- There will be times when others will commit to jumping with you but then they decide not to. Don’t be phased by this reality. Trust and believe that their decision has nothing to do with you. Perhaps you can jump and encourage them afterward.
- Listen to your guide – whoever that may be or represent. Their goals are to ensure that you are safe and that you live the experience.
- Properly use your checkpoints as they come in handy with well-needed items for your journey.
- Stay clear of the distractions. Avoid them if you can. The best way to jump is to clear your mind and not consume all the unnecessary/sometimes unwanted energy around you.
- It is more than okay to jump with assistance. I jumped with my life jacket and for the last jump, someone did it with me.
- In the end, you are the one who will have to jump. No one can jump for you. Yes, your encouragers can jump with you but unlocking your awesomeness is your responsibility.
- Just Jump!
Signed with love,