It's the night before the excursion and I receive a message saying, "meet in the lobby at 8:30 am if you want to go to Sedona." I cringed. I hate waking up early, but I love Sedona. I go to Grand Canyon University where a majority of the student body thrives on wearing Patagonia and those chunky sandals that you saw your dad wear in the '90s. Basically, as Jim Gaffigan once said, "they always look like there could be an impromptu hike at a moment's notice."
What I should mention is that I am a resident assistant at GCU and these people are my other fellow RAs. I knew this was an opportunity for me to connect with some of them on a deeper level and trick them into thinking that I actually like going outside. So I jokingly committed to the 8:30 am meeting time, telling one of them to come to knock on my door if I wasn't up. The next morning I surprisingly awoke at 7:30 to mentally and physically prepare myself for the day ahead.
Hike to Grasshopper Point in Sedona, AZ
We were going to Grasshopper Point in Sedona which is a little creek in Oak Creek Canyon about two miles north of downtown Sedona. What that description lacks is any mentioning of the fact that this creek is at the base of the canyon walls, thus creating ledges in the rock that are perfect to jump off of. When I heard about our destination it was put like this, "it's a cool hangout spot by a river and there's cliff jumping." So casual..like..oh it's just a river and you can like cliff jump..if you want.
The creek at Grasshopper Point in Sedona, AZ
I packed all the essentials: a towel, sunscreen, phone charger, and most importantly snacks. I reported to the lobby and was ready for whatever was coming that day.
From Phoenix, it's about a two-hour drive so that gave us lots of time to bond with the people in our car and judge one another's music taste. Thankfully, my car had a fire playlist so there was no bickering over if country music should actually be considered a music genre or not.
Two hours later we arrived and walked down to the creek. I have to say the two-hour drive was SO beyond worth it. Thankfully, there wasn't a huge hike down to the creek. There is parking available towards the bottom of the canyon and it's around a five-minute walk to the creek.
Grasshopper Point Creek at Sedona, AZ
After reaching the creek we all claimed some space on the rocks to place our belongings and the question I was dreading was finally asked, "So who's going to go cliff jumping?" There was a slight hint of challenge in his voice that in all honesty didn't excite me. However, I watched as everyone jumped off the cliff. I made sure not to go first because if the first person to jump off died, then we'd know it wasn't safe #thinksmart.
"Kaitlyn, are you going to jump?" Lol, I thought, only if someone pushes me. I knew though that if I went back to campus and I didn't jump, I would never hear the end of it. One of the girls let me borrow her, yes get this, chunky hiking dad-sandals, to save my feet during the climb to the ledge. I proceeded to climb up to the ledge after being convinced that I was not the weakest link in the group.
Physically and metaphorically, I don't like jumping into things. That includes jobs, conversations, relationships, pools, and especially creeks in Sedona. But here I was sitting on the edge of a cliff, looking down and questioning if the five years of swimming lessons I had when I was little was going to be enough to save me.
"Are you ready?" My jumping partner, Sam asked me. Before I knew it, I was struggling for air as I floated to the top of the water.
What I learned was, peer-pressure isn't always negative. My fellow RAs knew I was afraid. Instead of taunting me and telling me that I was weak or a baby, they encouraged me and even climbed the cliff to jump WITH me. I think we need more positive peer-pressure in our lives. People who are going to encourage you to go outside of your comfort zone. People who are willing to climb through the hard parts and jump off into your fear with you.
So support one another. Be an encouragement to your friends and when they are nervous about taking that job they aren't quite sure they are qualified for or asking out that girl they have been crushing on for months. Doing something you're scared of alone is always harder than doing it with someone beside you. So grab a friend, take a risk, and jump.