I was hanging in mid-air yet managing to drown.
Spluttering, I kicked my Croc-covered feet against the waterfall’s stone precipice and pushed off–trying to get some air. Though my legs are powerful, the kick only gave me a few seconds to breathe before I was plunged back inside the waterfall’s grip.
I kicked again–this time looking over my right shoulder to the man below me who was holding the other the end of the rope as if to say lower me quick! Do something! My ass is drowning here!
You see, God and I made a vow. I can’t die before my mother. It would kill her. My dad and brother would be upset too, of course, but they’re like the rock I was now kicking against it: able to withstand any pressure. My mom, on the other hand, had already asked me why I was trying to put her in an early grave by agreeing to go rappelling with my co-workers.
I was asking myself the same thing as water thundered around me and soaked every piece of clothing I wore.
I kicked yet again, looked over my shoulder yet again. I could feel panic creeping up in my chest.
The man below shouted up to me in Spanish, and I knew there was only one way I would be able to get out of this.
I had to go through it.
In what seemed like forever, but was really only a matter of minutes, I managed to rappel my way down the short waterfall to freedom.
I was soaked, laughing, and scared all at the same time. I was thinking–like my skydiving adventure in college–I will never do this again. Despite what my parents may believe, the older I get the more risk-adverse I become.
Thus, when I went to change back into my tennis shoes–the only thing that was dry after rappelling–I said to myself never again. The other hikers wanted to know why I was taking off my safety gear instead of getting ready for another round, and I just couldn’t explain it in Spanish….that and the instructor was so beautiful he left me tongue tied and to the point where I couldn’t even understand what he was saying to me I was so smitten.
It was a hard two and a half hour hike to get to the waterfall and a hard two and a half hour hike back.
Though I was exhausted by that time it was all over, I was able to commune with nature and meditate. I won’t hike it again, that’s for sure, but I’m glad I did it.
And I’m glad I didn’t drown in mid-air after all.