It’s the summer solstice, and I was home alone. Something said get up and go, and suddenly I had my water bottle, towel and camera packed in a tote bag, and I was on my way.
I hiked a ragged trail to the edge of a huge cliff that juts out over Clear Creek Gorge here in Redding, and I hurdled my 44-year old moose hide out into the warm air and sunk down into the water below.
Just wander on over to YouTube and you can see for yourself.
There were conditions for this to happen. I needed:
1) experienced cliff jumpers who would demonstrate the jump and show me what to do;
2) the sweet spot where I was supposed to enter the water had to be easy to see; and
3) I especially needed someone to egg me on.
That someone ended up being the mom of one of the jumpers, and she was wearing a long striped skirt. We stood on the cliff looking down, both wanting to jump but pretty sure it wasn’t going to happen.
She hiked down to the creek and waded to the opposite bank. I shouted out a dare to her, “You come back up and do this, and I’ll jump with you.”
The lady in the skirt came back up, and as I rambled on about technique and sweet spots, she leaped and was gone. Peer pressure can get you into trouble. It was my turn, and boy was I feeling stupid.
“You jump, I’ll jump! We can do this! Wheeee!” That was me trying to get the skirt lady to jump. The only reason I egged her on was because I knew she wasn’t going to jump, which meant I wasn’t going to jump, either. But dang it, she did, and now it was my turn.
A young woman was up there with me and was kind enough to film my jump. She was awesome. There’s no way I would have done this without her encouragement. It’s like an invisible hand shoved me off the cliff and suddenly I was free falling and then plunging into cold water.
And it was pretty fantastic. I did this crazy thing, and now I’m bracing for my husband to come home from work and log onto Facebook, as he always does.
Honey, your wife threw herself off a cliff today. How about we go get your favorite burrito for dinner tonight.