When you’re unsure of jumping, jump

“Kung kelan sobrang nag-aalangan kang tumalon, du’n ka tumalon.”

That was my colleague’s advice to me when we went cliff jumping on a recent summer getaway with present and former officemates.

See, I’m afraid of the open water. I had a traumatic experience in a swimming pool when I was a kid. Yeah, I almost drowned that time. Growing up, swimming lessons were a bane that I never knew how in the world I was able to pass P.E. in elementary and high school. So I never learned how to swim. Heck, I don’t know how to stay afloat in water, either.

When swimming, I only stay in shallow waters. Never bothered learning/relearning how to swim. So just imagine what I felt when I had to jump from a cliff and into the sea.

“Had to.” Yeah. Because during that outing, everyone jumped. Even the ones who openly declared that they didn’t want to because they 1) were afraid of heights, 2) didn’t know how to swim, or 3) were afraid to hit the bottom of the sea, which had rocks and shells.

I was actually the last to jump. Had to muster the courage after all 14 people went in the water ahead of me. Besides, I didn’t want to be a killjoy. Good thing there was a “noodle” I can borrow (that’s what we called the foam floater) and some friends to keep an eye out for me. They pointed to a spot where it was fairly safe to jump (no rocks below).

One of them gave me that advice above.

So I pointed to where I was gonna land, counted (in my mind) to 3, closed my eyes, held my breath, and — when I DID feel so unsure — leaped.

Everything became water. Salty water. Then I felt myself rise. Then a hand grabbed mine.

WTF, I made it. I cliff jumped (is there a word?) for the first time.

Probably the first and last. Haha!

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Didn’t realize someone took a photo of me before the jump. And yes, that’s the noodle I’m holding.

Looking back, I somehow felt good about myself for just doing it. And I’m glad to have not had suffered any wounds and scratches (some of my friends got cuts from the shells on the rough rocks). But would I do it again? Probably not. Not sure. The experience hasn’t made me a whole lot braver swimming in the open water.

Still, that was good advice. “Kung kelan sobrang nag-aalangan kang tumalon, du’n ka tumalon.”

I’ll surely remember that, even in situations with no water involved.

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