"Prepare. Don’t think."
- That’ll be the tagline of the cliff-jumping blog Council and I are going to start one of these days.
Kat, Ivan, Mark and I had been to the cliffs near Xindian MRT before. I wrote about our time jumping off the 15-foot platform a few months ago. http://twelveahead.tumblr.com/post/77079693167/finally-found-my-quarry. When we were there, I saw a cliff to our right that looked perfect for jumping. But at the time, it was just a dream, a fool’s hope, if you will. (Gandalf will.)
A couple months later, Council, a frisbee pal and fellow cliff-jumping enthusiast, and I were talking about that big-boy cliff in Xindian. Sure enough, he said he’d jumped it before. And “it’s HIGH.”
I had to try it for myself. So two weekends ago, Council and I, along with a big group of friends/spectators, revisited the Xindian cliffs so that I could conquer what would be my highest cliff jump to date. I didn’t think it was higher than the quarry in ye olde Fredericksburg until I got up there. “It’s HIGH,” indeed.
Council showed me the way as we work-shopped our cliff-jumping blog, and I took in the scenery. It’s really a unique perspective being on cliffs. I feel lucky to have been afforded such glimpses, and it’s a big reason why I keep doing it.
I have somewhat of a routine when I jump off cliffs now. It starts with surveying the water below. Even though Council had jumped it before, he did me the favor of swimming around the landing area to thoroughly check for any hazards or shallow water. "Prepare." Having a lifeguard as your jumping companion certainly doesn’t hurt.
Next, I took in the floor-less landscape (I try not to look down too much) one more time, admiring the endless Taiwan mountains (unfortunately not really shown in the filming). Then, because this was the highest cliff I’d ever jumped off, I didn’t waste any time. I hopped off right after my approach. "Don’t think."
See, that’s what I’ve learned from all my cliff jumping experiences. Everyone knows you’re not supposed to over think it, because then you’ll never do it. That’s why we prepare: so that we don’t have to think when it’s show time. And not thinking is exactly what I did the whole way down. “I really can’t emphasize how little we thought about this.” With two seconds and some change of falling, I had a long time to not think about anything. This was the most meditative jump I’ve ever had. I only realized this after the euphoria and accomplishment had worn off post-jump. My mind was clear.
So maybe we need to add a few things to that motto. Prepare. Take it in. Approach it. Don’t think—meditate…Reflect.
Nah, I like what we’ve got. Keep it simple. Jump however you want. Just don’t try this at home, ‘cus it’s not as fun.
(I apologize for the mediocre footage. I’m still trying to get good at GoPro filming. I also apologize for the language. I was ecstatic and I guess my filter washed off.)