What I learned from jumping off a cliff.

1. Your entire body is not cool with the idea and will try to stop you.

2. It’s not as bad as you think it is.

The end.

Of course we saw this sign as we left…

Juuuust kidding. Last month I was in Hawaii with my family and had the opportunity to jump off of a cliff. It was at the southernmost tip of the big island- “South Point” as it is appropriately named. Actually, it is the southernmost point of the United States!

Many people were gathered to watch or jump on this beautiful day. It was about 40ft/ 12m straight off of the side into clear blue water. Right off of the bat I thought that it wasn’t as high as I thought it would be by the way my other family members were describing it.

Lesson 1: Things may seem scarier in your head than in reality.

However, I was quickly put into my place when I stood on the edge. I’ve never seen so much space in front of me that I would jump into.

Definitely debating my life choices…

Lesson 2: We have built in mechanisms that to prevent us from doing something stupid. Well, try to stop us.

I wouldn’t let myself talk myself out of it. I had to do it. I handed my hat, sunglasses, and phone, to my sister and prepared for the jump. She gets full camera credit for sitting on the edge of a cliff to record everything. That’s dedication. My dad stood a few feet away and jumped. I followed a few seconds after. Not the smartest move but we were fine.

Lesson 3: Put some distance between you and the person next to you jumping.

Hands together over my head. Body straight. Toes pointed. Perfect landing. It was over in a few seconds. What I was NOT prepared for, and by far the worst part of it was that the huge impact of hitting the water caused my sports bra to 1. Nearly come off. And 2. The cups inside folded strangely and I had to pretend like I was fine and bounce over to the ladder with out my arms as I tried to fix my wardrobe malfunction.

Lesson 4: Wear a one-piece swimsuit for cliff diving.

I approached a skinny metal ladder and climbed up with a speed that even surprised myself. It looked quite corroded and I didn’t care to spend more time on it than I had to.

Lesson 5: Thank goodness for tetanus shots.

After climbing triumphantly over the edge I realized that it was actually pretty awesome! I wanted to do it again but this time on my terms…

Second jump:

Which was basically the same as the first. However- this time I wanted a running head start. None of this falling off of the side. If I was going to be scared I should launch myself forward, running.

Lesson 6: if you’re going to be scared anyway, run forth in style.

Lesson 7: clothing doesn’t stay in place just because you want it to.

Third jump: this time into a hole in the cliff

This time was higher stakes. Rock surround me on all sides, and I would swim out under the cliff over hang to the ladder. I could see the waves crashing onto the rock below me. Everything in me was saying don’t do it. But I didn’t come this far just to come this far. By this point I knew what would happen. I gave my family quite a scare by immediately swimming out of site to fix my top. Eventually they saw me happily bob away. The view swimming out of the cave was absolutely incredible.

Really not liking the idea…

Lesson 8: the only thing stopping you is you.

After jumping there was only one thing to do… find doughnuts.

Lesson 9: Cliff jumping makes you hungry. Scratch that, flying up a ladder on the side of a cliff makes you hungry.

A few hours later I discovered scrapes that I didn’t even notice before.

Lesson 10: Adrenaline is pretty good at masking pain.

On the plane watching a movie. The main characters jump out of an office building window into the fountain below.

Lesson 11: You become more skeptical. You question how deep an office building fountain must be to not kill someone on impact from a 10 story jump.

2 days later standing on heels to dance I discovered my right hip.

Lesson 12: Be sure to keep your body absolutely straight, not slightly curved to the right like you did on a second jump, or water can hurt.

Conclusion: Do the things that scare you, preferably with the people you love surrounding you and supporting you. But don’t do it for their reaction, do it for you.

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