Taking The LeapJuly 24, 2015
By Pooja Shah,
The plunge broke the stillness in the valley. Icy winds sliced my checks. My stunned body locked into a tight squeeze. I was plummeting headfirst into the raging white waters of Victoria Falls. The pull of gravity was immense. At 111 meters in free-fall, the sharp, rigid edges of the rocky whirlpool began to reach towards me, almost in welcome.
I relate back to two summers ago, where I took on the challenge my Dad had placed on me: bungee jump down Zimbabwe’s landmark Victoria Falls. I had heard it was one of the most beautiful jumps one could ever experience. The view was unforgettable — even life-changing. The jump exceeded my expectations. The ride was thrilling, heart-bursting and incredibly empowering. The jump, I realized later, meant more to me than just conquering my father’s challenge. It was proving to myself that I had the strength to leap. I dared myself to leap into the terrifying, leap into the unknown, and leap with only myself to hang on to.
I share this experience because I believe it taught me the value of risk-taking and being courageous. Working in an agency like Fast Horse is nowhere near as terrifying as jumping off a bridge, but it shares the thrilling experience of taking risks. As an intern, I’ve been thrown into numerous projects I had very little previous knowledge of, and was trusted with crucial information and deadlines. I’ve been hopping, skipping and jumping into projects that play to my strengths as well as challenge my weaknesses. I’ve taken risks and have trusted my intuition, trials and attempts — and knew that when the ridge gets rocky, I’ll receive a supporting hand.
Taking such risks and immersing myself into the fast-paced lifestyle has taught me a few things. One, I love this stuff. Two, I truly thrive on the energy of creative minds and hard workers. Three, I appreciate community and culture, and would consider it essential in any future career path of mine.
When the bungee cords pulled me up from the plunge, time seemed to suspend. I floated in mid-air, indulging in the rewards of my leap. I embraced the views around me even though I was still upside down and hanging only a few meters away from deathly currents. I wanted to take it all in. As my internship rolls to an end, I feel the same way; I know there’s still so much to learn. Since day one, inspiring individuals, awesome talent and motivated attitudes have surrounded me. I couldn’t be more grateful to be granted ample opportunities to take in what was going on around me and watch the magic happen right before my eyes. Overall, I’ve had tons of fun and take pride in my work. I’m unsure what the future entails, but I’ve shaped a vision that includes plenty more daring adventures and risk taking. The Fast Horse community has strengthened my courage to leap and trust where I fall.