Faith and Fear…And Adventure. Part 1


Today’s Music: Blind Faith – Can’t Find My Way Home

Beginning

What do you see at the edge?

There’s a moment, right at the very beginning, where anything is possible. -high and low, win and lose, yes and no.
On any adventure, that time is fascinating to me.
It’s a metaphysical moment where, for me, time stretches. My whole life doesn’t flash before my eyes. The moment isn’t long, but it is deep, and it’s there that I gain a better understanding of who I am. And it’s where I simultaneously find my fears and my faith in myself. I also see how those things have changed.

Here’s an early example -
- A young Guapo standing at the edge of the high diving board. He looks over, takes a deep breath. Another boy is already starting up the ladder for his turn. He looks back over the edge and steels himself. He ignores his burning red face and climbs back down the ladder.
- An older Guap (late teens?) stands at the edge of a different diving board. It’s high, but the water is deep, he tells himself. Don’t panic and you’ll be fine, he tells himself.
He looks out over that edge, remembers how younger him wished he’d stepped off that board all those years ago. He sees his younger self at that moment, remembers the exhilaration of being up so high, the danger of that narrow plank with so much empty space below it, and the terror of what could go wrong outweighing the thrill of what could go right.
He looks at the present again, every detail burning into his memory. He squeezes his eyes as tight as possible. He feels his face turn red.
And he turns and

Steps…

Off…

The…

Edge…

He goes off the high diving board another 8 times that day. Most of them with his eyes open. All of them with a big grin on his face.

I know I can.

I know I can.

So what changed?
Plenty of people dive from the high board/jump from the plane/hang from the cliff/(you get the idea).
Some of them have hurt themselves, some have even died. But as with a great many things, the vast majority have been careful, taken precautions and lived to do it again and again.

And the thought of being red faced and angry that I didn’t try something makes me feel worse than any of the damage I’ve accumulated thanks to gravity over the years.

So stop thinking that jumping will lead to crashing. Go on, have a little faith.

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66 responses to “Faith and Fear…And Adventure. Part 1

  1. We all need that reminder every now and then….thanks Guap!! :)

  2. You’re right, but it’s still hard to do. Good you did.

  3. Fantastic post, Guapo! It is hard to take that first leap of faith!

  4. Well said. I much prefer to regret the things I *have* done than the ones I wished I had.

  5. It’s almost as if you and my fortune cookie have aligned! Got some cool news today that caused my heart to flutter and made me glad I had the faith to not give up! I found the spot where I am going to open my spa today… after six months of searching!

  6. I stood on the same high dive. All I remember about the moment was that I was wearing a Speedo. And that’s a lot worse than going back down the steps.

  7. This is beautiful, maybe my favorite Guap piece so far. In many ways it is a revealing piece.

    I can definitely identify with the problem, but not the solution, sadly (we all must find our own path, I think). There are times in my life when I’ve been braver than I thought I could be, but those times have NEVER come when contemplating a thrill (well, you know what I mean by that; I’ve been downright reckless in my pursuit of some thrills). My wife has jumped out of an airplane; I can barely make it off the high dive.

    I’m often impressed by your philosophy and the way you live your life.

    • Thank you, Smak.

      For me (and you’re right that it’s to each his own), everything I learn or discover about myself when doing something stupid and fun applies to everything else I do in the world.
      And somethings, like learning to lock down the fear of jumping translate to locking down the fear when a car is on fire and I need to grab the extinguisher. It’s funny, everyone else around was shocked – “oh my god, he just turned, grabbed the extinguisher and put the fire out!” – when it seemed, once I wasn’t thinking about being scared, that that was the only thing to do.

      And that relationship with fear (respect and not panic) has made it so much easier to do anything – except talking to girls. Not even marriage cured me of that one.

  8. Right on, Guapo! Very well said. I love the example you brought to the post of the younger you vs. the older/braver you. We can all apply that philosophy – as we should. I’d like to do the jumping off the plane one (I considered doing it for my 50th) but If George Bush Sr. can do it, I can too. :)

  9. This piece is so you. It could be your About page. This is signature Guapo! I really enjoyed it.

    • Hey, even the toughest chocolate bar can still have a soft gooey center!

      (No, I have no idea what that means.)
      (But its better than the onion analogy.)
      (Because I haven’t made anyone cry in years.)
      (i mean…)
      (Crap.)

  10. The only jumping I plan on doing is metaphorical. But I’m betting you’re okay with that, too, right? :)

  11. Great stuff. Blind Faith, mmmm… takes me back to 1987, the Summer of Like, when anything was possible, jumping off everything and on everyone. It’s odd how we go from fear to fearlessness back to fear kicking in again as we age.

  12. Well said – I ran a half marathon on Sunday – knackered myself but chuffed to bits that I did it

  13. They say you regret the things you didn’t do – not the things you did do! Great post :)

  14. OK, I got me the second 1/3 of your title. That’s a start!

  15. You’re very right! And once you realise it was still quite okay, it becomes fun, doesn’t it? I had more or less the same experience with an amusement ride. It was like the closest to death I ever experienced the first time I did it. But then it became a whole lot of fun!

    • Exactly! there’s a roller coaster (Rolling Thunder) at Coney Island that scared teh hell out of me when I was a kid. I finally went back on it as an adult and rode it. and it still scared the hell out of me – mostly because I thought it was going to fall apart.

  16. Great message. And so very true.

  17. Pingback: Now leaving your comfort zone…please fasten your seatbelt | polysyllabic profundities

  18. Dammit, Guap I did jump off that diving board and did a most magnificent belly-flop! Quite painful and embarrassing. Never went back up….maybe someday….

    • At a wedding with an in-ground swimming pool, we ended the night with a belly flop competition.
      I won.
      And looked like I had sunburn for a week.

      My proudest moment…

  19. Love that song… love this message… I love you, man…

  20. This is good stuff. One of my favorites of yours.

  21. “Stop thinking that jumping will lead to crashing.” <– THIS. Yes.

  22. I’m a climber… but not much of a jumper… there are plenty of adventures to be had with my feet planted firmly on the ground (in some capacity), thank you very much.

  23. This reminded me of the time in South Africa, after our volunteering, when we took 11 zip wires zigzagging across the kloof, something I really had to conquer fear for but something I was determined to do and am now remarkably proud of having done! We can do it!

  24. Sometimes taking a leap of faith is as easy as opening the door and stepping outside. Sometimes just the thought of it is enough to paralyze one with fear. I’ve been on both sides of that door. <3

  25. What a great story Guap and as it is a truism then it makes it even better, after all we can either watch others doing somewhat dangerous pastimes, or we can step up to the mark and enjoy the ride along with them.

    Sometimes we need that adrenaline rush just to feel alive, and hold on a minute… I am getting a parachute for this next jump aren’t I Guap? :) Good I hate skydiving without one :) lmao

    This is a brilliant piece
    of blogging my great friend :)

    Andro

  26. Awesome and Inspiring!!
    XOXO

  27. “And the thought of being red faced and angry that I didn’t try something makes me feel worse than any of the damage I’ve accumulated thanks to gravity over the years.”

    Love that.

    Jump to fly, not to fall, right? :)

  28. That needs a lot of courage! And courage is meaningless without fear and risk! :D

  29. I was the same way about diving for the longest time. When I was young I took swimming lessons at Caddy Lake in Manitoba. It was a group lesson & we learned how to tread water & do the breast stroke, etc. The final challenge was a dive into the lake off the dock. I tried & tried but just could not get myself to dive off that dock. I didn’t get my badge. A couple years later I taught myself to dive in a friend’s swimming pool but bending so far over my fingers were almost touching the water. Back when I used to swim, I regretted not getting my swimming badge for a long time.

Ahem *best Ricky Ricardo voice* Babble-OOOoooo!!!

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