This quote from ‘The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down’ by Haemin Sunim, struck me very deeply.
In 1996 I spent six weeks backpacking in Oz and New Zealand. Whilst in Queenstown I had the opportunity to do a bungee jump. I had never any intention of doing it, but since I was there, the question was why not? And if I didn’t would I look back and regret it?
I had spent the day doing adventurous things, pushing me out of my comfort zone. Jet boat down some very scary rapids, helicopter ride, white water rafting, abseiling.
Did I mention I had a fear or water and climbing rock cliffs weren’t a favourite thing to do...
I did however have this compulsion to keep pushing my boundaries. I felt I had probably met my limit when standing 269 feet up, on the Shotover Canyon Bungee Jump, with my feet tied together that I decided I wanted to get down.
The guys who manage the jump had stepped off the platform. They are not allowed to assist you in any way. They coached me that the quickest way down was just to leap. Hell no!
They encouraged me to just take a look! So I did. Unfortunately the look meant I lost my balance and with no dignity fell over.
As I fell, I screamed a four-letter word beginning with F and ending in K! It was a canyon and the echo of a Belfast accent rang round the canyon.
Now if you have never done a bungee jump, the free-fall feels like it is going on forever, then you stop. It is only a very split second but I remember heaving a sigh of relief. I was still …. and then I was yanked back up again. This repeated itself several times until I eventually stopped bouncing.
You think things can’t get any worse. But they did! You see I had failed to tuck my t-shirt in and lost it in the fall.
You think it can’t get any worse! I had no underwear on.
Hanging upside down with only a pair of shorts on, you think it can’t get worse. It did, there was a group of Japanese tourists happily snapping away at my misfortune.
I was lowered into the boat below and thankfully given a new t-shirt. All dignity had gone. Thankfully I was leaving for Mount Cook the following day.
Back at the youth hostel, I was sitting at the bar feeling a little sorry for myself, when suddenly the tv burst aloud with a Belfast accent shouting a four letter word repeatedly.
You really think it can’t get worse, but for the rest of the evening, the video was on repeat. I didn’t buy a single drink that night and left with a very sore head the following morning.
I could of course have gone to my room and hidden, but where was the fun in that?
Had I got down that day, I believe that it would have stopped me from following other adventures. I would have regretted that decision and I don’t ever want to live my life with regret.
So when faced with a challenge, do I retreat back into my comfort zone or close my eyes and stumble into the unknown or take a leap of faith?
This time of uncertainty in the world it would be easy to retreat into our comfort zones, but I really believe it is a time for us to take a leap of faith.
What difference would it make to you if you took a leap?
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