Just seeing the words “bungy jump” on the tour itinerary made something in my stomach turn like the disoriented tourists we had passed during our New Zealand road trip (who were driving on the wrong side of the road).
Thinking it was just my equally misguided imagination, I visited the website of the event provider to be unfortunately reassured of exactly how scary the idea off jumping of a bridge was.
I knew there was nothing logical about the idea or shameful about my fear. We are hardwired to be scared and fearful of certain things. Mostly dangerous things. It originates from a deep primal intuition and responsibility to reproduce… and we can’t do that if we’re dead.
However, modern man – and this brave boy – has a different agenda and set of responsibilities (or lack of them). I knew about the transformative effects of facing our fears; I knew what it’s like to cross that line drawn in the sand to spell “I can’t”; and I also remembered this quote from Walter White, the main character from the TV series, Breaking Bad:
“I have spent my whole life scared, frightened of things that could happen, might happen, might not happen, 50-years I spent like that. Finding myself awake at three in the morning. But you know what? Ever since my diagnosis, I sleep just fine. What I came to realize is that fear, that’s the worst of it. That’s the real enemy. So, get up, get out in the real world and you kick that bastard as hard you can right in the teeth.”
So when the morning came where I found myself on the platform – although I was looking at the most appealing naturally flowing water I had seen in my life – as far as I was concerned, I was hurling myself into fear itself: the pure root of all unappealing emotions. And just like the cool air that stood between my free-falling body and my destination, my fear proved to be just as quickly vanishing and almost non-existiental.
Despite the anxiety involved in clicking the website’s “book now” button, and the fear experienced while standing in line – and more so on the platform – it only took a few seconds to completely change how I felt… as well as how I think. Because after those few free-falling seconds, I now understand how our fear itself can really be the worst of it. I also now plan to throw myself, not just specially off more things… but at more things. Especially if I’m scared of doing them.