Last night I had a crazy dream. I was walking along a remote country road with several people when I decided I wanted to fly. I love flying dreams. And, I know HOW to fly, at least in my dreams, so this was no big deal. I just soared up into the air, about 20′ above the ground and did a few swoops, almost like I used to do as a child when I’d pretend I’m a dolphin in the water. It was amazing. I could just stop and hover, without even putting my arms out, just by having the thought.
I remember looking back at my friends on the ground and wondering why they didn’t join me, thinking that perhaps I was rude to fly ahead of them, but I kept going. In my dream, it was my birthday and I was celebrating. As I paused and looked back I can remember an instinct kicking in and screaming “NO, you’re going to plummet to the Earth and die”, but I had to calm that part of my mind and just reassure it that I knew what I was doing. Every time I did that and just focused on where I was going, I was fine.
I think I know where this dream came from for me. About 3 months ago I visited Las Vegas and was treated to a performance of Cirque du Soleil’s O and LOVE, by my friends at Cirque. They were both amazing shows and I loved every moment of it. I wrote a blog about that experience.
What struck me the most was Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds… where a woman was flying across the sky. It was exquisite to watch but I kept wondering, what would that be like to fly- outside of my dreams? The next day at dinner I shared with my Cirque friend that “I want to fly!”. She smiled, didn’t miss a beat of the conversation, acted like this was a “normal” request and just asked, “When?” WOW! I was truly going to get a chance to fly with Cirque? Woooooohooooo!!! How does it get any better than this??
The arrangements were made and I was going to train and play with O for the day. I’m even Scuba certified- which you need to be with O, as much of the coordination of events takes place underwater. However, scheduling put me in Las Vegas when O is on hiatus, so Mystere was offered instead.
Today, this morning, I’m off to go bungee training with Cirque! Wow. I’m really very excited and yet partially terrified too. I wanted to write this to you BEFORE I went. You see, when I originally asked to fly with Cirque, I wanted to fly. And yes, there is a difference between flying and jumping. Flying, you’re hooked up to a harness with a cable and you just get picked up and carried across the “sky”. In bungee jumping you actually have to make a conscious choice to step off of the perfectly safe ledge and dive to the floor. There’s something inherently wrong about this thought.
I’ve gone bungee jumping several times before- the first one with A. J. Hackett in Queenstown, New Zealand, about 20 years ago. I remember walking out onto the bridge, getting my feet tied with the world’s biggest rubber band, and being told to jump. As I looked down at the tiny stream about 275′ below me I remember feeling nothing but absolute terror. The guy actually asked me if I wanted to dip my hair into the water or not. That didn’t help make this any easier. I was still terrified. I wasn’t jumping. And, I had to go to the bathroom. I told the guy who was helping me that I had to use the facilities, so he untied me and I ran back to the bathroom. There, now I’d be okay. Right.
I went back to the edge of the bridge, he retied the big band around my feet, I stood up, hobbled to the edge, looked down at the tiny stream and again, I had to pee. As I turned to try to convince the attendant once again that really, I just had to use the bathroom, he laughed at me. He asked me where I lived and I responded LA. He told me that bungee jumping was safer than living in LA, not to think about it and to just take the first step (so to speak, because my feet were tied together). I took one more look out over the ledge and dove.
WOWOWOWOWOWOOW! It was the most exhilarating feeling EVER! There was an adrenaline rush like I’ve never known. I absolutely LOVED the experience once I had the courage to take the first step. I loved the freedom of just hanging out above the stream, gently bouncing up and down, while all the time I was screaming and celebrating that I’d done it.
Today as I think about bungee training with Cirque I’m terrified once again. Not only do I have to jump, but I have to jump to a floor far below. I like the idea of just being hooked up and gently lifted away from the floor- NOT voluntarily diving towards it. There’s a real difference for me.
But I know that things always happen at the right time and for the right reason. I need to jump again today. I need to remember the exhilaration that can only come from jumping by choice. It’s so like life. We get so set in our ways and forget the terror and the thrill of stepping off the ledge. But I’ll write more about that later. For now, I’m off to Cirque du Soleil’s Mystere, yes, to jump into the unknown. My stomach is already protesting what my head is thinking.
But, you know my saying, “It’s only when you have the courage to step off the ledge that you’ll realize you’ve had winds all along”- or in this case, a bungee cord. Either way- I’m telling you in advance so I HAVE to jump. And, I’ll keep you posted.