Have you ever done something crazy for love? Something that
almost scared the pee out of took you way out of your comfort zone? Something that ended up changing your life?
I have, and this picture of Havasu Falls is a reminder…
I don’t like being in the air, or having my foot slip from a curb. Bird’s eye views make me feel like I’m plummeting to my death.
Sixteen years ago, I took a leap of faith, and accepted a job at the Grand Canyon.I’d wanted to live in the desert since the third grade.
There, I fell in love with Jim. Jim – whose life ambition was to skydive. He’d lived near the Canyon for twelve years, and had hiked every trail the South Rim had to offer, many more than once.
When we signed on for an employee weekend hiking to Havasu Falls, he said it would be a shame not to go a little further along the Colorado River, to Mooney Falls.
I had a book on Canyon hikes and history, so I knew that the Supai natives who still lived nearby had named it Mooney Falls as a joke – when a white man named Mooney fell to his death there!
The last 60 feet of the trail is a descent straight down the cliff face, using footholds and heavy chains attached with railroad spikes. Jim knew I was afraid, and didn’t insist that I try, although he maintained that the travertine waterfalls with their turquoise pools were worth it.
In the end, I tried. I was sure I was going to die. I could not look down; and might never have made it if Jim wasn’t below me, patiently setting my feet in the footholds for me. It wasn’t graceful, but it was effective.
The pools at the bottom were exquisite, perfect for swimming, playing, and reveling. In a beautiful fern grotto, Jim proposed to me while holding me in waist deep water.
I joke that he trapped me into acceptance, because I NEEDED him to get back UP that cliff…. =)
That wasn’t the last time we took a leap of faith, made a terrifying descent, or faced a steep uphill climb where the risk of plummeting to catastrophe was a real risk.
When I look at this image, I remember that day, and how accepting the challenge of facing my terror, and trusting Jim to help me, led to the life I’m leading today. Would we be married now, if I had decided to stay home where it was safe?
We don’t know. Jim maintains that it was a spontaneous decision – he felt the place and the moment were “too beautiful to waste”. Maybe another moment would have come – or maybe not. He’s an adventurous guy; a woman unwilling to take that risk might have slipped out of his life.
It didn’t seem like a life-changing decision, to brave the side of the cliff that day. Honestly, I wasn’t feeling very brave at all. But I was. I didn’t let fear own me that day; I accepted it, and moved with it down that cliff, and then back up again.
And it’s taken me to places I never dreamed of, that day at Mooney Falls.
So, how about you? Can you think of times when you were bold, and dared your fears? When you ventured forth from your safe spaces, and did something that changed you? What was it? How did it go? Would you do it again? I love when my readers share, Saturday or anytime!
- Out There: Camp in the Grand Canyon (campfirestyle.com)
- Hikers recount narrow escapes during recent torrential storms in Grand Canyon (azdailysun.com)
- The 100 Ft Waterfall Inside The Grand Canyon (presurfer.blogspot.com)
- The Great Southwestern Safari: a Tale of Exploration, Adventure, and Accidental Fire Mishaps (letsdoshit.wordpress.com)
- Go Here Now: Phantom Ranch (roadtripnotebook.com)
- 7 Natural Wonders of America (myessentia.com)
- Havasupai (childforaday.wordpress.com)