Free falling

More exhilarating than frightening

If you know me, whether in person or from reading here, you are aware that I have a bit of a control issue.  I lean towards being moderate in my indulgences and don’t enjoy the feeling of being out of control.  My dislike of that type of sensation probably impacts me in many ways, but overall, I believe it helps me to avoid harm, particularly of the physical sort.  Case in point…

During our annual beach vacation, we encountered a couple of opportunities to take a flying leap.  A sort of “long walk off a short pier,” to use the local vernacular.  Our first chance was on the road leading to Lieutenant’s Island.  Have you been to this part of Wellfleet?  It’s a lovely, fantastically isolated bay beach that is great for the younger set.  No waves, limited parking, and a bridge which is perfect during high tide for jumping.  The day we were there to jump, tide was really high making the bridge impassable due to the water level – it was about knee-high.  This was Quinn’s first year to take the plunge and he was fabulous!  The only real drawback to this activity, or to Lieutenant’s Island in general, are the voracious green-head flies.  My God, they are vicious!  We each took a few jumps and then ran through the remarkably warm water back to the wagon.

Our next opportunity for proving our fearlessness came on Martha’s Vineyard. We were fortunate this year to have our weeks finally overlap with that of some Albany friends and they turned us on to a beach area between Oak Bluffs and Edgartown that provided 2 bridges for proving your courage.  Or not, as the case may be.

The bridge at State Beach is crazy high.  I’m talking Cheech & Chong high.  At least that’s how it looked to me.  And, while there were plenty of the bold and the brave present, it turns out that I was not one of them.  Here are the pictures that truly tell the story:

Slightly defiant (read the sign!), a little nervous.

Major mistake – don’t look down!

On the other side of the railing – as close as I got to jumping. Note: death grip.

Yeah, it wasn’t happening.  When I looked down I just knew I couldn’t do it.  It wasn’t a matter of working up the nerve or taking a moment to compose myself, or even simply letting go.  I couldn’t do it.  While I am  a little disappointed in my lack of nerve, I understand that my strength in letting go is still developing.  I’m working on it and, there’s always next year.  Here’s how it is supposed to look:


How about you?  How do you feel about taking a flying leap?



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5 responses to “Free falling

  1. I jumped off a waterfall in Hawaii. I was looking at it gathering my nerve and knew I’d regret not jumping for the rest of my life. It was a surprisingly long way down and very memorable. Later on the trip, we saw a water color painting of the waterfall. It’s hanging in the hall as a flying leap reminder.

    • “Memorable” Is that code for scary as heck? I’m hopefully going to be back on the Vineyard next summer. Maybe I’ll work up my nerve. And make sure there’s a picture!

      • Memorable meaning exhilarating and thrilling. We had a camcorder there and just before we left the place cleared out. I can hear the excitement in my younger self’s voice as I describe the jump.

        Scary as heck would be the tandem skydive I received as a graduation gift. Jumping out of a plane is not a natural act.

  2. kolet

    Silv, we are PARENTS. It is hard not to be in total control, most, if not all, of the time. You’ve taking a lot of “flying leaps” in your life-don’t you think? Those are just as important and shouldn’t be overlooked. On the other hand, next year, I will jump off that darn bridge with you and you will feel why our children (and Steve and I) were so drawn to this act. It’s trivial in the scheme of things, but so enlightening too. (pun intended:)

  3. I once paid money to be strapped into a harness, walked up 5 flights of stairs, gotten hooked onto a zip line and then started crying and hyperventilating. The walk of shame back down was the worst part.

    I’m still pissed at myself for not zipping.

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