Lookers V Leapers

Preikestolen in Norway sits at the end of a steady climb of 1,982 ft (604 metres) to give you a downward view of Lysefjorden that will amaze of terrify you, depending on your head for heights. You can hike up and bask in the sun far from the edge or else sit on the edge and dangle your feet over the empty space below. One fellow I saw decided preferred to hang off the ledge by his fingertips so his lady friend could photograph his best side, we assumed, for his social media following.

No shame in being scared . . .

While I rolled with the foot danglers, my beloved did not and so we lay by the edge and gazed down at the wonderful scenery below. Even so, what a rush. It made me think about Lovers’ Leap, in Jamaica, and similar locations around the world where couples anecdotally chose to leap into an abyss, arm-in-arm, rather than getting torn apart from each other. That’s love, right?

Imagine my surprise when I later discovered Internet video recordings of cliff divers leaping off Preikestolen. It was not a stretch for me to think about the many challenges we all encounter as earthlings, whereby it is our attitude to risk that will determine whether we simply look or whether we boldly leap. Merely looking can be scary enough to play on your subconscious for many weeks, let alone dangling at the edge. It would require only the slightest ‘mistake’ and, as they say, ‘game over’. Then again, with the right preparation and equipment, could you leap off the edge and glide away, filming the thrill for your next upload?

For some, simply being there atop Preikestolen is enough without going anywhere near the edge, still others left it at looking up at it from the fjord day-cruise vessel below. Weighing up possibilities is often informed by past fails, fuelled by fear, and those warnings that onlookers employ to dissuade off-leapers? Even with careful preparation, it takes a lot of moxie to let your feet leave solid ground, embrace the winds of uncertainty, and defy the gravity of your comfort zone. Yet can you ever make progress in life or love without taking risks? What if you fall flat on your face? If it is off Preikestolen, then you may not feel very much, otherwise, you will have learn some valuable lessons that allow you to dust yourself off and try again. Then there is the other 'what-if' to think about: What if you achieve your wildest dreams!