January 1, 2015
frightened to the point of paralysis…

not me, but a friend…

The most frightened I have ever been in my life was standing on top of this cliff. This cliff is a few miles north of Buena Vista, Colorado, not far from the Arkansas River. The top of this cliff is roughly 120 feet from the base. The wall of this cliff is mostly concave so what one sees is 120 feet of air, no wall, and a hard rock base. I stood on the top of this cliff, near the edge, for at least 20 minutes. My knees “smote one against the other,” my stomach was high in my throat, and my mind raced with the possibilities.

There was a guy at the top of this cliff with me, he encouraged me with trite sayings like…

“just jump,”

“it’s all good,”

“I’ve got you,” etc., etc.

I could not jump, I was paralyzed with fear. This fear caused me to ignore the words of this guy…this fear caused me to imagine a 120 ft. plummet to my death…this fear caused me to ignore the reality of the equipment securely in place…this fear caused me to imagine only failure, despite the fact that several of my friends had successfully jumped off of this cliff.

not me, another friend…and the guy, and the gear

I finally jumped…and I don’t know what the catalyst was but I jumped off of this cliff. And it proceeded just like the guy on top said it would. And it went by so fast that the things that caused the fear were completely absent from my mind. And it was the most exhilarating experience of my life. And as soon as I landed on terra firma, I disconnected from the ropes and immediately headed back up to the top of this cliff to do it again. The second time on this cliff was better than the first because my fear had been conquered.

Now I wish I ¬†could remember what caused me to jump that first time…

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