I strongly recommend you watch this video before reading the rest of this post. Trust me.
How can I express in words the most thrilling experience of my life? Fear and adrenaline running through my veins as I sit in anticipation. I tried to psyche myself up for it, and the techno music helped a little. The nervousness was still there though, like a constant pressure. It took every effort to fight off the thought. Then the moment finally came: they called me forward, straped me up, and helped me to the edge. As I tiptoed forward, my brain was instantly flooded with thousands of thoughts: don't look down! keep your arms out! remember to bend your knees! jump up and outward! oh, and on your way down, remember to "take it all in" as the attendant told you.
Holy crap. What am I doing?! I’m about to jump off a bridge that is 216 meters (708 feet) off the ground, fall straight down at 120 kph (75 mph) with a freefall lasting 5.5 seconds, then get ripped back up to do it all again. And again, and again. Are you freakin serious??
But before I could even think twice, my toes were hanging off the edge, my feet bound together and tied to a giant rubber band, and all I heard was "5... 4... 3... 2... 1... BUNGEE!" Suddenly I was falling through the air, the wind was rushing past my face, I couldn’t even breathe enough to scream, and my stomach was clenched like in a vice. In fact, I was pretty sure I had left my stomach back on the platform, actually.
"You just jumped off of a frickin bridge…" was about the only thought I could muster. The entire world was nothing but a blur. My freefall, which felt like 5 minutes instead of 5 seconds, began to end as the cord caught me. I saw the rocks of the riverbed getting closer and closer as I suddenly slowed, stopped, and shot back upward again. For a brief moment as I reached the apex of the second fall, I was weightless as gravity fought to reclaim its hold over me. Then I was plummeting earthward all over again with the thrill continuing to surge through me.
Everything around me was swirling, swaying, spinning and upside-down. Despite all this, though, I noticed the world was completely silent. Not a sound reached my ears. From blaring techno pump-up music just second before, to the beautiful stillness that is nature. I looked around and saw trees, mountains, cliffs, a meandering river below me and a spanning concrete bridge above me. Off in the distance I could see the deep blue Indian Ocean framed by two sides of the ravine. I suddenly realized how beautifully picturesque the setting was, even under the current circumstances.
But as my head began to throb from the rush of blood to my brain, I asked myself, "where the heck is this guy who's supposed to come down and get me?!" With nothing else to do, I hung there limply and tried to take in the scenery. I couldn’t help but think how odd it was, though, to see everything upside-down as I bounced hundreds of feet off the ground. Finally, the guy came to secure me and brought me back up to the bridge. I was more than a little grateful to have my feet back on solid ground as I reached the platform. My adrenaline-induced high was still going strong, and I couldn’t do anything except smile and high-five everyone around me.
"How was it?" someone asked. "Incredible" was all I could think to respond.
Words can't do it justice, but I just tried. Never bungee jumped before in my life, and for the first one, I decide to do the highest in the world. Smart. Well, it seems like everything else now will be pretty weak. I mean, how do you top the highest in the world (off of the third highest bridge in the world)?? You pretty much can't. The only thing left to do now is to start jumping out of helicopters. Heck yes. This was still pretty awesome though. And as a bonus, here are some pictures from the experience.
(By the way, the title of this post comes from the T-shirts they were selling in the store at the bungee place. I thought it was apt, if also a bit cheesy.)