I just realized that today has been a little over 2 weeks since I wrote about the new series I was going to start, Stepping Up and Out, which is funny to me because I didn’t realize it had already been (a wee bit more than) 2 weeks [oh how time flies]. I am actually really excited about this post, when I was doing the new thing (question #2 on the list) I immediately realized that this had to be the first post for the series.
I am afraid of heights. I am afraid of doing things that can be seen as [and legitimately are] risky. I like to stay on the safe side of
things and stay within my comfort zone. I would rather watch people do those risky things than actually do them myself. I’d like to change all of that. I want to be able to go the high places, look down and around at the magnificent creations of God. I want to be able to look back on my life and be able to say “remember the time I…” and be proud of the moments in which I grew more courageous and got out of my comfort zone.
A couple Sundays ago, Logan and I went up north to hang out with friends for the day after church. Over the past three years of living in New England I have learned that when we go see these particular friends and it’s the summer, you bring your swimsuit because 99.9% of the time we go swimming in the river. I have alway seemed to forget this fact, whether on purpose or accident, I have never remembered to bring stuff to swim in. Yet on Sunday when we knew we were going to hang with them, I packed my swimsuit! I just knew today was the day for remembering things and for having another adventure. And what an adventure it was.
So we drove up to our friends house to meet everyone, hopped in the truck and drove down to the river to go swimming. Where our friends take us every time to go swimming is the same, drive down by the railroad tracks and bridge, cross the bridge and walk along the river til we reach ‘the spot’. Lucky for us, and for where my adventure lay, right down the river next to the spot where we were, was an unused rope swing. Mind you, I have never been one to ever do a rope swing because I know that I do not think fast enough to let go of the rope to drop, among the notion that rope swings are risky and dangerous. After swimming a little we decided that we’d swim down river towards the rope swing and give it a go for a while. Now this rope swing was attached to a long drooping tree that reached over the river to a place where it was deep enough for us to swing off of. The tree was on the longer/taller side, so the rope swing reached out over the water further; this meant that if you wanted to use the rope swing, you had to climb the tree and then leap-ish off the tree on the rope swing. When we watched the guys do it a few times, the girls realized that we didn’t want to do that, but at the same time we wanted to do something more than just swim. So we asked the guys if it would be deep enough for us if we were to climb to the next branch on the tree and just jump from there into the water. They said yes, and so off we went…jumping off trees…into the river. So Juliet goes first and loves it, and I decide, what the heck I’m gonna do it. Easier said than done at some points. Remember, I don’t like heights, risky things, etc. Jumping out of a tree into the water clearly defines all of that. Yet some how I felt an internal push to try something new [and risky] so I went for it.
I climb up the tree – it’s not the most graceful looking climb but it worked – and there I was, standing on the branch ready to jump into the cool river below. After thinking to myself, uh why’d I’d do this again?, I took a deep breath, plugged my nose, and jumped. It was one of the most exhilarating, terrifying, stomach-flipping thing I have done in a very long time. And you want to know what? I loved it. While the first time I came up hurting because I leaned backward and basically cannon-balled into the river, I wanted to go again. So after watching the others jump off or the guys swing off, I slowly swam back to the bank to climb again. I went off that tree probably 4 times. Each time I would think to myself why am I doing this again? And each time I’d jump off, knowing that I was trying something way outside of my comfort zone, something new and exciting, and that I was starting to teach myself how to trust myself.
What was the last thing that you did that was new? Was it exhilarating? Terrifying? What did you learn about yourself?