In the beginning of September I swam (if you can call it that) at Wakulla Springs for the first time. It is, of course, spring water which means it is about 70 degrees all the time. That first visit was on a cooler day where the outside temperature was about 85. I jumped off the lowest platform and as quickly as I could made my escape from the icy water. I wanted to jump from the highest platform. Mostly, I wanted to prove to myself that I could overcome my fear of heights…at least for a little bit. That day I stood on the top walking to and from the edge for about 20 minutes. I watched several people overcome their fears and take the plunge, but I did not overcome mine. I was worried not only about the height, but about the icy water and how deep I’d plunge when I finally jumped. I left without the satisfaction of accomplishing something that day. I regretted it and promised I’d do it the next visit.
The next visit happened on Saturday, September 26. Mark, the girls, and I met my new friend, Jen, and her precious family at the Springs. As soon as we were settled in, Jen and I made our way to the platform. I took a leap off the low dock first, just to get adjusted to the water temperature, and Jen took her first jump off the top. Then she escorted me to the top. I felt pretty good about going up with Jen. She happens to be one of the most loving and kind people that I’ve met recently and if anyone could encourage me to do this it was definitely her. Once up there, I was scared, but desperately wanting to take the leap. I needed to do this for so many reasons. I walked back and forth and Jen stood by my side. Finally she made a comment about how she thought I was a confident, strong woman. At first I thought really? and then I thought of course and in that moment I got this rush of courage and I counted to three. I did it, I jumped and Jen jumped with me. We came up from the deep water letting out yells of joy! It was incredible.
An hour or so later, I wanted to make the jump again only this time the hubbies were snorkeling and I needed Jen to watch the girls. I made the trek up to the top all by myself. For some strange reason I was much more scared this time. Apparently, Jen’s strong, confident woman remark had more power over me and my courage than I had realized. I stood up on that dock for about 15 minutes. One little kid jumped 10 times while I paced to the edge and back. Finally a girl in her 20’s arrives on the dock and I couldn’t help but notice her tattoo. It was a poem, probably one she’d written herself. I stood behind her and read it silently. Then another girl on the dock was like “What it is? What are you looking at?” So I read the tattoo/poem aloud. The last line read Do whatever it is that scares you the most. And there it was, my sign from the Universe! I walked to the edge and took the leap a second time.
When I got back over to the kids and Jen, I realized I was shaking. I’d experienced a real adrenaline rush from doing something exhilarating. It was a legitimate rush, not like in high school when you were doing something and afraid of getting caught, but a true leap of faith that wasn’t breaking anybody’s rules. I can’t wait for the next adventure…maybe I’ll take a trip to the beach and try parasailing. And of course I still have hang-gliding on the list.
Here’s a picture of what I jumped off of…