Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Shut up and JUMP!!! A lesson in trust from Bloukrans Bridge…

"Are you sure these are tight enough?” I ask Ettian, my designated jump assistant at Bloukrans Bridge in South Africa, also known as the “World’s Highest Bungy”. “Yes”, he says calmly. I don’t even know him, but I know that at this point, I have to trust him.

My heart is racing, this is my first experience of bungee jumping, and my mind is trying (notice I said “trying”) to steer clear of thoughts of plunging to my death with a rubber band tied around my ankles. With bare feet, my toes are hanging over the edge as the vertigo sets in when I peer over into the gorge to the small creek down below, a distance of 216 meters (708 feet).

The instructions from Ettian’s lips are simple, but seem like an enormous task at that moment, “Keep your eyes on the horizon, arms open wide, and jump forward.” Ba-bom, ba-bom, ba-bom, ba-bom… my heart is racing even faster almost a roar in my ears. I can barely hear Ettian say, “5, 4,3, 2, 1, Bungy!!” There’s no time to think….just trust! My feet leave the cold (yet safe) concrete of the bridge… Despite the dizziness, I manage to go forward then gravity sets in, bringing my heart into my throat as my body swooshes downward. The beautiful gorge is whizzing by in a blur… then bouncing up and down around me… oh, wait a minute, that’s me bouncing…

The next thing I know, the only audible sound is the wind gusting through the gorge as I dangle upside down by my ankles, peering at the trickling creek below me. I feel the absolute exhilaration of being alive, and the words of Madonna’s song, “Jump”, come into my head, “Are you ready to jump? Get ready to jump; don’t ever look back.”

The experience was a great metaphor for life, “Shut up and JUMP!!” Keep your eyes on the horizon of where you want to go; keep your arms wide with your heart open; and jump forward. I have definitely been doing a lot of jumping since that experience; some big and others not-so-big, but jumping all the same.

Of course, the ideal would be to have a beautiful graceful swan dive every time, but usually it’s not so pretty. And at times, it’s a grasping on until the last pinky finger has been pried away by some outside force. Even if I don’t’ really want to jump at first, I have truly begun to trust that everything works out for the best—that is something I can count on 100%, even if I don’t fully understand it in that moment. I’ve been so blessed to live some amazing experiences and every time they started from some form of a leap of faith.

So my advice to you is just have a little faith, shut up and JUMP…. Whether it is something small like changing a hairstyle or something bigger like trusting someone with your emotions or taking the leap of starting a new business or career…. Start the habit of trust and take a few leaps in your life…. You’ll find a juicier and more exhilarating experience waiting to be discovered…..

Much Love and Adventure,


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Creating a Blog....

I'm here and ready to jump in...... Woo Hooo!!! :-D