(This question is part of the “Story Time!” project.)
There was a moment that just happened only a couple weeks ago, completely unplanned, but I think most if not all great moments in life are unplanned (except maybe babies, depending, but if that’s your case then good luck my friend :D)
After our regular Saturday morning QM, there were two events happening afterward; one group was heading to zip lining up in the Poconos and my group was taking a journey to Mordor up the mountain on the Applachian trail I believe it was called.
We had begun our expedition up once others met up with us, some new faces, some old.
Everyone was in good spirits, our shenanigans soon began as they always do. We played in this aqueduct slope (not sure what they are called but this makes sense to me so I’m gonna roll with it) found some snakes, threw rocks at each other, you know, the good times were happening.
As we moved on from the spot, right next to it, was a metal bridge or lookout over a large area of water (there’s probably a word for this and I know it’s not a pond but we can settle on pond for now). This metal bridge had a door you could access to get to the end of the lookout, but this door was locked so we settled on a mini challenge of a climbing up and walking to the end ourselves. It was an interesting climb on the side of the bridge, thin pieces of metal make for a very unique feeling on the hands.
Once we had gotten up we walked to the end of the lookout, and there is where I saw the jump.
A jump into the water from the lookout
A look over the bars blocking the way of the jump, you could see it was roughly 20 feet or so down. I had mentioned it to the group and so we had done a little rock test. Meaning we grabbed a rock from below the bridge and tossed it to the depths. The rock was swallowed up after a few seconds of fall time; clearly the water was deep enough for a human. So the next part…was to simply do it.
Simply. That was a funny word. A little this and that later, it was getting time to move on so that we didn’t lose the day for the rest of the hike. So I told the group that if I hadn’t gone by the time they descended back to the ground then I won’t do it.
Funny thing though. Josh had stayed behind to be my clothes retriever if I had gone (shirt off, no shoes or socks for water deployment) but as my comrades left me, I felt naked and alone. As if it was just me and this colossal boss I was ill prepared for, no upgrades, no party to back me up; so I walked away and climbed down with Josh and continued on our path.
The rest of the day, that jump plagued my mind. Thoughts simply invaded.
“I felt it, it was right there”
“If you don’t do it, you will regret it when you go home tonight”
“Why couldn’t I just let go”
On and on, a cycle continued through my head. I tried a couple conversations with some of the guys to distract me, but I just ended up losing what they were saying
The walk to the top felt long, it felt like a walk through my own little forest of doubts in my mind
When we reached the top however, a thing of beauty waited.
A simply nice moment of clarity, sitting on the edge of a mountain with those closest to you in life. Whom like you, want to be stronger for others just as much as they do for themselves.
I felt rich.
And like myself that day, Melissa was challenged with a jump on the mountaintop. A drop precision from one rock to another, a simple jump on ground level, but with the added height makes for a great challenge. In my head I told myself that if she made the jump then I will go back to the bridge and do it. I did not make this vocal because I didn’t want to influence her decision to make the jump.
Making the jump through your own resolve is stronger than doing it for a prize in my opinion.
She eventually made the jump and so my fate was sealed.
After some shenanigans through a cave which in itself is a story on its own. We headed back down to the cars and along the way, the thoughts started coming back, the only thing different this time was that I was not only one being invaded. Austin, Katie and Adam had expressed they would like to join me on the jump and so we made a pact to jump together no matter what.
I vocally expressed this promise that I will jump from that bridge.
Back at Rendevouz in Boston, Max Henry had taught that if you make your intention vocal, you have now bound yourself to it and must commit. I thought that was very interesting and helpful habit to keep, especially for me.
As the bridge approached I could feel the adrenaline kicking and my heart rate rising as I knew what was coming and what HAD to be done.
Like the rise before the drop on a roller coaster.
We climbed up and hopped over the bars and looked out to the depths below us, I felt stronger with others beside me ready to commit to the jump I once looked at alone.
As a collective I could feel what they felt.
And it was reassuring
Adam began the countdown from 5
Right about here we had leaned over leaving only our grip on the rail keeping us on the bridge.
Through my peripheral I saw them lean and found myself leaning with them
I let go
And let out a yell through the fall and entered the water
There are some memorable moments and I have too many to name with this crew, but this one was one for the books for sure
I found that
Fear is a choice
and that some challenges can’t be taken alone
Which makes sense because life would be incredibly difficult going through alone. I guess that’s why we have loved ones to share it with :).