Just Jump

Just jump, he said.

You can do it, she said.

1-2-3 go, they said.

But all I could see was the blur of a wooden plank, green trees, and muddy water.  I could see others jumping, all around me, but it was like I was inside a glass jar.  I could see out, but the noises were muffled.  My senses were dulled.  My vision was narrowed, my hearing was echoed, my tastebuds were coated with mud.  Oh, but I could still feel.  I could feel my husband trying to grab my hand to help me forward and my friends patting me on the back.  I could feel the platform shake, the breeze blow, and the water spray.  But mostly, I could feel fear.  Overwhelming, all-encompassing, make-your-knees-buckle fear.  The panic began to overtake me.  I got weepy, my legs shook, my face went white underneath the mud.

But I had known about this all year, I thought.  I did this last year, I thought.  How can this fear possibly be gripping me yet again?  But it was.  And it did.

You see, I wasn’t always afraid of heights.  In fact, I’ve bungee-jumped in Cairns, Australia.


I’ve done the reverse bungee at the Calgary Stampede.


I’ve jumped off high-dives and cliffs, been down huge waterslides, and walked on suspension bridges.  I’ve ridden on roller-coasters and drop-zones and tiny prop airplanes.  I’ve cliff-jumped, climbed high ropes, and stood on roofs.  But I’ve rarely felt fear like that.

You see, this weekend, I participated in the Tough Mudder with my husband and four of our friends.  10527839_10152622826756217_7294258702611999583_nThe Tough Mudder is a 10-mile Obstacle Course/Mud Run, which I also did last year.  So I knew about ‘Walking the Plank‘, as the Tough Mudder Headquarters has so aptly named this obstacle.  I knew about it, I thought about it, I worried about it.  And yet, when it came time, the fear consumed me.  Last year’s jump involved more than 10 minutes of me standing at the top, dozens of people chanting my name, and my husband climbing back up to jump alongside me.  This year’s jump was less dramatic.  I simply panicked.

I panicked and I climbed back down.  I’m not doing it, I said.  I can’t do it, I said.  And so all my teammates jumped.  And when they had continued on to the next aid station, out of sight and out of earshot, I climbed back up and jumped.

Just jump, he said.

You can do it, she said.

1-2-3 go, they said.

So I did.  I can.  Just on my own time.

Thank you, my team. xo.

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