You know when you’re being a lemming and people go like, well, if so and so dropped of the edge of a cliff, would you do it? I went rafting with a bunch of girls to the Southfork of the Payette on Sunday and I am not ashamed to tell you that I wholeheartedly embraced my lemmingness mid-trip down the river towards Banks, when our guide stopped the raft and encouraged us girls to get out, climb up, and jump from 25 feet into the river.
First of all, I’m not your typical Idaho girl. I’m not even from Idaho, so there you go. However, I enjoy my friends just like the next person and if they want to go rafting instead of hanging out on a patio, margarita (or Coors Light) in hand, fine. Jumping from some rock way up in there was not on the agenda, but when I saw two of my friends dashing out of the boat as soon as it hit the shore, I did too, thus beginning with my lemming behavior. There were three jumping levels to choose from, and Kate stopped on the second and jumped. It looked pretty scary to me, but I was determined to follow suit. To my dismay, I look ahead and Ysabel is still climbing, headed towards the highest point in this darned rock formation. I can feel full lemmingness coming on now, especially when I see her take the leap and dive into the water. Crap. I’d look like a wuzz if I backed out now.
I slowly advance towards the edge – very, very slowly. The closer I get the heavier my legs become (yes, it’s possible). Getting to the tip of that rock is the hardest thing I’ve done in a while, and now I definitely can’t move. At all. I’m shaking all over, and paralyzed at the same time. The girls are cheering from the raft down below, and for a brief moment I almost give up. All I want to do is to turn around and quit. Somehow I manage to get a hold of myself, push my fears away and my body forward. I hit the water face first, arms spread out instead of over my head. Obviously, gracefulness was the last thing on my mind.
Later I heard that Ysabel poked her eye with her thumb and lost a contact lens.
The thing about jumping – as it usually happens when you take risks in life – is that the very second your feet lose touch with the ground, that moment when turning back is no longer possible, you realize that jumping in itself is not as bad as the moments leading up to it. The unknown is such a bitch, though, who can blame us for stalling and sheltering in the comfort of our lives, so often unfulfilled but oh, so cozy and familiar? Who wants to ask that guy out just to leave with a bruised ego? Or break up with your partner after a long-term relationship? What if your dream job turns out to be a nightmare? We are all afraid of change: guys, girls, young or old. Short people and giants alike.
On the other hand, you’ll always wonder what would have happened if you hadn’t chickened out, if you went for what you wanted. So, (wo)man up, jump! Your arms might hurt and your eyes sting for a while, but you’ll wonder and fear no more.
- Nobody puts the Ikurrina in a corner
- Please someone buy my house