Being pushed on a Swing was one of my favorite activities as a child, but I was never the kind of kid that wanted to Push the limits. For me, the idea of taking such a big risk was silly, dangerous and well… scary! I would never have admitted it then, but I was a bit of a scardey-cat.
A couple of decades later, I was taking the trip of a lifetime; I had decided to travel around much of the world over a period of 2 years, and I was loving every second of it, but it wasn’t until I reached New Zealand that I started to realise in some ways I was still a bit of a scardey-cat.
Yes, I was doing something that I loved, which was somewhat wild just by traveling but just like the boy on the swing, not wanting to take it to its limits, I hadn’t fully embraced traveling. The opportunity had arisen to do something breath-taking that I knew would not come around again anytime soon but I came up with a billion and one excuses not to.
“What a silly thing to do, you’ll probably just break your back,” I thought… “It’s simply dangerous, many people have died doing it before” I murmured to myself… “I bet it’s not even fun” I lied, knowing that nothing in my mind was based on fact.
You only live once
For once, I didn’t let my thoughts overwhelm me, instead, I embraced a saying, which has since become extremely clichéd but still holds true – “you only live once!”
Trying to hide my nervousness, I made jokes with the “enablers” as they set me up. I think my high-pitched laugh may have given me away or maybe it was just the fear in my eyes, but they knew. It didn’t make a difference; they dealt with people like me every day.
One of their team started to instruct me on how to position myself. “you’ll be putting your hands up in the air, you’ll lean back…” I didn’t hear the rest as I started to shout “wait! WAIT!” but he let go. My feet had gone over the edge of the cliff, and I was falling.
I shouted, at first with fear but then with excitement! I had just been pushed off a cliff, and I had never been so grateful. Not only did I survive, I was alive! This time, I went as far as you could go on a swing and I landed in the middle of a beautiful canyon.
The rush of adrenaline was like nothing I had ever felt before and like a drug addict after his first shot of heroin, all I wanted was another one. The idea was the same, but the set up was slightly different. This time, “gimp boy goes to Hollywood”.
If you ever get a chance to jump off a cliff, these guys will push the limit with you all the way! Shotover Canyon Swing
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