August 20th, 2005, Koh Tao
If you google Tanote Bay, you will most likely find pictures of a huge rock emerging from the sea. Yeah, I tried jumping off it.
Me. You know, the one who freaks out in knee-deep water. I was going to swim 50something meters from shore to a rock and climb 10m to take the plunge. May I mention at this stage that I’ve stood on a three-metre jumpboard a couple of times but never jumped once?
So while I was watching the cool as brave people having fun, I thought while not conquering this fear? Jumpboards at the public pools would never be a problem again.
I was euphoric. Ha! I was going to do it.
In this atmosphere of departure I kinda underestimated how hard climbing a rock is: a) you gotta have the strength and b) you do need some guts, too.
Using the latter to go up a jumpboard is way more convenient…
But I was ambitious. And super proud I actually managed to swim there without any panic attack. There was also a crab-cometogether where the ocean splashed against the stone. This was not that easy to pass either. Spiders of the sea. Eeeeeek!
So I felt like a swashbuckle superhero in a bikini. Like a better version of Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible 2. (I hate Tom Cruise!) I actually managed to scramble upwards a few meters. My friend watched from the beach. Or read a book. I couldn’t tell. She was far far away.
But damn it- I lost my mojo at the last bit and a half.
It was fucking cliffy. There was a rope I had to use to pull myself up to get to the top. It surely had seen better days. Then it hit me: What on earth was I doing here? Was I really going to jump? I wasn’t even able to reach the top! The more I thought about it, the situation just got worse. I was desperate.
There was this nice guy doing his best to motivate me. “Go girl! You can do it! Just grab the rope, lean back and walk up that rock, pulling yourself to the top!” … Errrrrr- lean back?! Dude, are you crazy? Was I out of my mind?
The rope. The rock. The height. And the depth awaiting me when I mastered the rest. The sun began to set and the water seemed darker. I imagined what it would feel like to actually jump: Free falling, diving into the sea, feeling the water getting colder and colder when going deeper and deeper… My superhero-powers vanished.
It was unwinnable. So whimpy me cautiously climbed down again. And let me tell you, this wasn’t easy either. One wrong step and I would end up as crab-food with multi fractured bones for sure. So I probably should have listened to that guy. But it was too late already. I promised myself to quiet my mind, take a running start and just jump next time I was on a three-metre-board (Which hasn’t happen up to this very day…).
Swimming back I was wondering how many people placed their bets back at the beach. We could’ve made a fortune. Another wasted opportunity…
Oh well. At night I demonstrated my bravery by stepping over a super-sized spider and bearing her angst-inducing presence while having a wee.
Tough enough! Off to Koh Phangan next.
[And then] I was afraid, I was petrified […] Oh no, not I, I will survive
Oh, as long as I know how to love, I know I’ll stay alive
I’ve got all my life to live
And I’ve got all my love to give and I’ll survive
I will survive, hey, hey… (Gloria Gaynor – I will Survive)