As I sit in the airport here in St. John’s I almost slide back into my old ways: the have nots and regrets. I just had about 7 lovely jars of partridgeberry and cloudberry jams confiscated from my carry on baggage from Air Canada, whom I have re-named: Air Shit-ada. Alas, it is my fault, although the woman from the store near Deer Lake told me I could bring them on board, I should’ve known better. And so I sit with an almost-empty knap sack, lamenting all of my jams I was giving for gifts, and had intended to smother on my kaumut pancakes on Sunday. This is a case of the knapsack being half empty or half full, and once I got over the loss of the jam, and stopped beating myself up for my poor packing decisions, I of course came to realize that the knapsack is half full. The week I just spent with 6 fabulous women cannot be jaded by me not having a berry spread on my pancakes. I mean, come on Sarah….get real!

During our trip, we visited a waterfall whereby we all skinny-dipped (it was early and overcast and no one was there…no small children were scarred or scared). Some of us scaled the wall to jump into the falls, from about 5-10 feet or so. It was so amazing to encourage each other to face our fears by jumping as we cheered and whooped into the air; some of us were fearless, and some of us, had trepidation. After my guests left, I visited the falls once again near Woody Point and watched with amazement as teenagers climbed up to the very top of the falls...probably 50 feet or so, and plunged down into the spray of the falls. I suddenly remembered my yoga bag, which is adorned with inspirational quotes, one being: “Do one thing a day that scares you.” With this in mind, I asked the teenagers the best way to jump and they were thrilled that an “adult” was going to jump. There were several adults there, but they were taking pictures of the kids jumping. I didn’t have my camera, so I thought I might as well jump. I scaled the wall to the top of the falls, and realized that the climb alone scared me. Once I got to the top, two kids offered to go first by showing my how to push off properly and so I could see where to jump. They were pretty jazzed that they were teaching me something, and it was nice to be the student once again, particularly when the teachers were young enough to be my kids. I felt my heart begin to beat faster and more loudly, and decided to jump before I lost my nerve; the kids were treading water at the bottom cheering me on, just as we had done before days prior with all of the wild women. I plugged my schnoz and plunged off the top, it felt like I was in the air about 5 minutes, and also about 5 seconds; time became warped and it was not until I hit the surface of the water that I had a sense of time and space. I surfaced with yahoos and cheers from the kids and felt elated. It was not until a few minutes later that I noticed a small stream of blood trickling down from my nose: I had pinched so hard that the end of my nose ring jabbed into my nostril. Man, I thought, I’m still hardcore...not to shabs for pushing 39.

I was taken back to the first time I jumped off the tower at camp, which now seems so small. I thought of the first cliff I jumped off in the Whistler backcountry 15 years ago, and again had the same sensation of fear, adrenaline, and finally, bliss. At the time it was huge and scary and daunting, as was this waterfall. Once we face our fears, we see that it is only our minds that are actually fearful, and that the task at hand, the conversation we must have, the job we must leave or any other change we know we must make is not as fearful as we make it out to be. I vow to keep jumping off of those cliffs, no matter how scary they may be.

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