Monday, August 25, 2008

Jumping Off Rocks

I have been planning on going to Enders Waterfall in Granby, Connecticut with friends for about three weeks now, but something has always come up. This weekend, however, I finally ended up going! My friends had been there before and had told me all sorts of exciting stories about sliding down the waterfalls and jumping off cliffs into the water and I was dying to try it myself.

We got off to a late start, but we hiked down to the falls by about 2:30pm, and it was definitely still hot out, even when we were shielded by the woods. However, because there hadn't been any substantial rainfall the past week, it wasn't safe enough for us to slide down because the water level was so low. We hiked to a different spot where there were 3 different level cliffs where we could jump off into the water.

First level Cliff
This was the shortest cliff...the first one I jumped off of.

Jumping off cliffs into water always sounds like a fun thing to do...until you are actually standing at the edge of the cliff. The lowest rock ledge you could jump off was about 10 feet from the water, so of course I tried that one first. My friend Amy (also a newby) shook at the edge with me for about 10 minutes before we got up enough courage to actually jump off. It's so strange how even though you know you will be perfectly safe jumping because you will be landing in a nice, deep pool of water, it still takes a while for your brain to shut off and just let your body act. I mean, other people were doing flips off this ledge, so why can't I just step off? And of course before i jumped off that first one I had to calm my breathing, and before I knew it I had landed in the cool water!

After feeling like I could do ANYTHING because I had jumped that first ledge, I decided to try the second, higher level. This one was about 15-20 feet high, and there was a bush in the way of the jump. This one made me the most nervous because you had to make sure you jumped in a certain spot or you'd land on some rocks below. Yes I know, very safe! But after a little chickening out, I jumped, and landed on the water with my backside. It created a large red mark on me for a bit, but it was fun!

View from the Second Highest Cliff
This is the view from the second highest cliff.

After that second jump, it was time to climb to the highest cliff. This one was definitely the scariest because it was so high (about 25-30 feet from the water below) and my friends were saying that when you are falling, you have some hang time in the air before you hit the water. In other words, while you are falling, you have time to realize that you are a crazy person! Needless to say it took me 10 minutes of chickening out before I stopped shaking enough to jump. Looking down the edge of the cliff 8,000 times before I attempted didn't really help much. It's such a crazy feeling to jump off of something that high. And it is a little mind blowing as well because while you know that it is perfectly safe, you brain knows that jumping off cliffs is not something it is used to. Your body almost goes into panic mode! I had to take a few steps backwards to give myself a running start because if I kept looking down to the water below, I never would have taken the jump. And let me tell you, you do get a bit of time falling through the air before you hit the water. It was completely exhilarating!

The View Down
This is the view down standing on the tallest cliff.

So while this post is not about Yoga, I thought the experience in itself was much like going through a very strenuous Yoga class. Sometimes for your body to grow you just need to shut off your mind and go for it. Once you step off the edge of that cliff, you can do anything!

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