After two trips to these bluffs, many cheers and pep talks and hearing "just like your morning run, go for it" from a stranger. After saying "I can't" just to be told I can do anything and being reminded of all the things I said "I can't" about in the past which I have now overcome the fear of by just doing, and doing it well. After being reminded of all the fears I had conquered and how they helped me to grow as a person, as a jeweler, as a daughter, as me. After being reminded that doing what scares you can result in experiencing something you love, like the splash of the water as it caught me, after being told by my father who had jumped before me, "don't think, just walk".... I jumped!
There was some debate as to whether it was 20' to the ocean at low tide, or 40'. I'll call it 30', but it wasn't the number of feet involved, it was the fear of letting go and falling. Hearing that splash as I hit the warm water was worth my knees knocking together, my heart racing and my palms sweating as I walked that plank. The unknown became known and I loved it!
It was a great adventure, well two adventures really. I got on my bike, which had been long neglected and pedaled to the shore, both times with two people who have encouraged me through the good and the bad, always reminding me I was capable of anything. Pedaling to get there reminded me of just how much I love experiencing my surroundings on foot or two wheels. Both are different, both are me exerting myself and feeling stronger for doing so, both force fresh air into my lungs, both force me to live in the moment.
This path I took was gorgeous and I can't wait to enjoy it during my half marathon training. Summer will be fading and I will see it in a new light, that is how I like to experience life, through seasons, change and growth. Part of my training journey will be searching for new routes to experience as I put one foot in front of the other to reach my goal.
Autumn may bring more changes than leaf color, shorter days and less flowers in the garden. My leap that first day of September got me thinking I need to face change, embrace it and go into the unknown.
On this adventure I saw the path to this beach with new eyes. It is a place I had placed behind bars and locked up in an attempt to keep it in my past. Locked up so tight I had't realized I would be conquering a fear other than my fear of heights when it was suggested we go to jump the bluffs in the late days of summer. I saw a new way to get there, a beautiful way, a route that took my breathe away. It gave this place a new space in my heart, taking away the pain I had associated with those gorgeous bluffs of that private beach club, a pain I won't discuss here... I pushed past the pain as I pushed my pedals forward, I sought new beauty in what was tainted by another person. Only I know of this pain and I am the one who got myself through it one pedal at a time. That may be more to be proud of than my jump. It may be why I wasn't able to get the courage to jump on my first visit, my fear was unlocked and a few memories surfaced which I was trying to process and replace with new memories, seeing it differently twenty years past. I will happily take these new memories with me into my future.
Where that future goes may be found on four tires, not two and with two feet and four paws. With all of the new things I have tried my 36th year, the year I devoted to challenging myself, I have come to realize the world is huge, beautiful and there for me to explore. It holds challenges I never knew of and want to face bravely. Every trail is different, even the same trail is different on a different day, just as I am. I want to explore this world, see it, love it, love myself in it. After spending 36 years migrating back and forth between two very small New England states I realize there may be something else out there waiting for me and I don't want to miss it. This 36 year old wants to live the dreams she had at 17, dreams pushed aside out of fear and the desire to please others. She wants to hit the road, living her life as her own, exploring, learning and growing, taking experiences with her to grow as a person, as a jeweler. Maybe she will discover there isn't much, but at the very least she will have faced the fear of the unknown.
Don't think, just walk is my new motto in life.
thanks for reading...