Coasteering: Sinead Mulvaney

And then she disappeared. I started to count the seconds, one, two, three. It seemed like an eternity. Then she surfaced, a giant grin and a look of expectation for us to follow her lead. ‘You have got to be kidding!’, that was the only thought going round and round in my head. That drop must be at least 30 foot! What was I thinking ever signing up for coasteering? That’s not me, I don’t do that. Surely the fun we had all had belly flopping into the water from about 1 foot was all that was expected of us?  

This was more serious though. As I brought up the rear of the queue I knew that this was too far beyond my fear level. I just hoped I wasn’t going to be the only one, don’t let me be the only one who is too scared. The first person just bit the bullet and went for it. A scream and a face lit up with a giant smile. But then some refusals. Thank you so much, it’s not going to be just me left on my lonesome. But then a second taker. Another giant grin when she surfaced and words of encouragement to those of us still on dry ground. And then it was my turn. Sure I may as well go and have a look, just so I’d know what I’d be berating myself about not completing when I thought back on it that night. Stood on the edge it no longer looked like 30 foot, it was at least 100 foot!! From nowhere the voice inside said, ‘just do it, go on, you’re completely safe’. The voice may have said some other choice words of encouragement, but none of them are fit to repeat, I’m not even sure how you’d spell some of them! And before I knew it my feet had walked off the edge of the rock ledge and I had done my challenge jump. I surfaced, like all before me, with a giant grin.  

I certainly challenged myself and lived up to it. Thanks to those who encouraged me to do it and a special thanks to those who were brave enough to say ‘not for me, not today’, they gave me the strength to go and stand at the edge knowing that it would have been OK for me to shake my head and say ‘no, not for me, not today’.

What next? Well plunging into the depths of the sea is as far from altitude as you can get, but the lessons learned will stand me in good stead for the future. It’s great to succeed, it takes great courage to be able to admit that today is not the day, but the most important thing is to try. It’s good to push the limits of where you think your fear lies, because sometimes you might just surprise yourself and come out the other side with a giant grin.  

Thanks to everyone who participated and led the Saturday afternoon coasteering session.