Cliff diving has elements of risk smart people are unwilling to take. But as far as I am concerned, those risks are an opportunity to test one’s will and pit my mind against the fear-triggering asthma attacks. Jim Blowers, his friend Jerry, and I arrive at the Diver’s Cliff. There’s a fellow standing on the edge, trying to muster enough nerve to take the plunge. Tired of waiting and irritated that I might lose my nerve to jump I gruffly ask the hesitant jumper, “Can you please either jump or step aside?”
The man holds out a hand, politely waving me by, but warns, “You have to get the timing just right. You must catch a wave as it’s coming in.”
I don’t fully grasp his point but, nevertheless, I step in front of him. Then, without any further hesitation, I bend my knees, push off the edge, and I’m instantly airborne. After gracefully folding my body into a pike position, I stretch out fully and soar toward the water below. “Wow!” my mind rushes, “This is great!”
As I’m soaring in midair, the wave below is quickly receding from the cliffs. When I hit the water, it is only four or five feet deep. Upon impact, there isn’t much of a splash, and despite a somewhat cushioning angle of entry, I hit the bottom. My head hits solidly, ripping skin off my face, and everything goes momentarily black.