It appears that this year at WTM, the biggest obstacle of fear and concern may be a 38′ cliff jump. This isn’t a tube that plays on fear of confinement or a slide that plays on fear of loss of control. The fear cliff jumping generates is rational. There is indeed real danger in throwing yourself off of such a high cliff.
You get a sense for that on Tough Mudder’s Walk the Plank – and it stands only 12-15′ high.
I thought I’d share with you the mental checklist that I put together for myself when approaching and executing the jump…
Stand tall, feet together, knees flexed and soft. Visualize the jump going perfectly and hitting the water absolutely perpendicular without over-thinking things.
Pull arms down and back – then up and overhead as you jump forward as in a standing broad jump.
Make sure you commit once you commit. Hesitation is bad news bears. On that note, even if you have a less than perfect take off, stay the course, there is absolutely no bailing and you’ll probably have enough time to readjust.
Leap out and make yourself as straight as possible from toes to head (like a sword into the water)… point your toes hard. Arms overhead, grasp one fist in the opposite hand or nail arms to sides and point fingers.
Do not fudge it up. A 20′ jump means hitting the water at 25 MPH / 40 KPH.
And the cliff at World’s Toughest looks significantly bigger than that.
Stay tight when you hit the water, but body is fully submerged: arch back and stretch arms and legs out like a parachute to prevent rocketing to the bottom. Blow air out of nose continuously. Do not try to plug nose, as your arm will only get ripped away from your face and probably hurt a lot.
Any there pointers or disputes on technique? Please feel free to leave them below. I am certainly no expert on this and would love any feedback.