Saturday, July 05, 2008

Bungee Jumping 2: why I'll never be the same person again

I know that sounds dramatic but its true! (ie I am full of drama so what to do now?)

Having made my way to the bungee jumping site, I found that it basically consisted of this one booth being manned by a couple people. I went up nonchalantly and said I had a reservation for 11:00 AM and signed a bunch of papers that basically said I couldn't sue anyone if I broke an arm or a leg etc etc. After signing my life off this girl weighed me and wrote my weight on the back of my palm. Then she pointed me in the direction of the path that would take me up the cliff. After a short 5 min hike I was up there, and went up and met Ian who was going to harness me and help me jump. I chatted about, he made silly jokes and I told him they were silly jokes but I understood he was trying to lighten things etc etc. So far so good. In five minutes he went over the procedure- I would be harnessed, walk down the bridge to the jump-off board. Ian and his friend would test the bungee cord lengths etc. I would walk down to the point where I had to jump from, Ian would count 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and I would jump at the count of 1, basically just leap forth. I was harnessed at the ankles so I would be dangling from my ankles. In less than 45 seconds the boat would come by and I would get pulled into it and sail away to safety. Cool! I said. The view from up there was beautiful, by the way and I clicked away before I had to put away my camera and specs and all of that.

So I walk up to the site shuffling because my ankles are harnessed..and Ian positions me, asks me to walk up so that my feet are half off the ledge. SCARY SHIT MAN! I did anyway and was gripping the side bars like there's no tomorrow. Ian yells: 30 seconds! (to cue the man on the boat to get ready) and goes 5! 4! 3! 2! ONE!. And I'm still standing there. Frozen.

I retreat..and tell Ian we needed to go over the process again..

Ian: OK, I count 5 to 1 and you leap off at the count of 1. Think of it as a ride at an amusement park.

Me: why am i not amused?

Ian: OK, now you're going to do it, ok? We've done all the work, tested everything, you've just got to jump.

Me: I'm scared!

Ian: you're supposed to be!

I shuffle up again, make my way to edge of the ledge, not even sticking my feet out this time, looking down

Me (Thinking) ok, tgfi, nobody knows you came can turn around, go back home, and everything will be fine and dandy with the world. What is the big deal in a 30 sec thrill anyway?

Ian: Come on tgfi! You know you want to do this! You came here all the way.. you've got to even the score with your sister right?

Me: yeah??.(A very scared yeah) I am peering down, squinting at the simultaneously terrorizing and exciting view..and Ian and the other guy keep telling me not to look down, to look ahead..I don't see how anyone can do that!

Ian: OK THEN 5! 4! 3! 2!

Me: (I turn around and thrust my hand in Ian's face- he's right behind me..yelling) you're too loud! you need to count softly! you're scaring me!

Ian: You're supposed to be scared!

Me: No I don't want to do this. this was a wrong idea. I want to go home. I don't even want my money back.

I walk (Shuffle) back to the deck.

Ian: you're making it really hard by overthinking it all. Just go and know you want to do it! We do hundreds of jumps everyday!

Me: I don't knoww.

Ian: ok..the line is building up. You've got to do this now. I can drop you if you want. That way you fall backwards..

[We try out that technique on the deck- him holding me in the front by my waist harness and i just lean back, until he lets go..but it all seems extremely uncomfortable and I really cant see myself wanting to do fall back into a ravine like that]

Me: No no..i want to go facing down. But I don't want to be the first to jump! Can you let the others go first and then me?

Ian: No no no. we've hooked you up, everything is ready for you to jump. You've paid for our time. We've already spent more time with you than we spend with anyone..C'mon.. just do it're going to do it now, right?

Me: OK OK..At this point all I can think is the bloody greyhound ride and all the pains I took to get there, and how much I really wanted to do this, and if I went back now, I'd be miserable, and would never muster up the guts to do it off I went..

Ian: OK i'll count "Soft and nice" now, (chuckles)

Me: OK, so I should jump at the count of 1?

Ian: at this point, you can jump any time! really! :)

Me: ok..

Ian 5! 4! 3! 2!

Me: leaps off screaming :)

And apparently i was screaming "Beautiful!" when I bounced back in reverse. :)

After the 200 feet dive, there is atleast a couple bounce backs, once in reverse, and it really is quite exhilarating..and quite a sight. I totally enjoyed the ride and soon it was done and time for me to be lowered into the boat.

I jumped off the boat and couldn't sit still! I was talking non stop to the woman who was manning the booth..I was bouncing off my heels and couldn't sit still or think straight for a good while after that. So I walked about, grinning the "I just bungee jumped!" grin..made friends with this bunch of french tourists and we exchanged stories and they shared their picnic lunch with me and we explored around until it was time to flag the greyhound bus back to Ottawa..

For the next few days, I was still wearing the "I just jumped off a cliff 200 feet" grin on my face, probably what caused me to be "randomly frisked" at the airport :) and every time I closed my eyes I could picture the beautiful limestone amphitheater view that I took in as I jumped..its all coming back as I write this post even now and is going to stay with me for a long long time.



Tabula Rasa said...

the pre-jump part is really funny! we saw someone act much the same way -- she was right before us and kept having the gravest doubts. however, she was a 55 year old polish-american widow!

after her jump she too was a very changed person :-) she even lost an expensive ring in the river, but said it was worth it bec this was a once in a a lifetime experience while she can always get another ring.

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...


:-) ya ya. i should've been braver than a 55 yo woman, perhaps, but I was scared! :) its awesome that she did jump though!

i reckon the best way is to walk up to the ramp and jump off, like i saw a few a do. I also saw one come back down without jumping. Apparently they get a "Chicken pass" ie, they can use it to come back on any other day and jump when they feel like they're up to it. :)

Shikha said...

Good for you, girl! Proud of you :)

P said...

Awesome narration! I can almost feel what you were going through.

I'm really proud of you for getting over your fear and finishing the task :)

sd said...

Nice post TGFI. I must confess that I will probably never go bungee jumping!

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

shikha, p,
thanks babes. :)

you've got to try it sometime! the rush, the feeling of liberation, all totally totally worth it!

Silvara said...

oh sounds like exactly what happened with me...i couldn't do it the first time AND i had Evs go first as well lol. But after i jumped (all curled up in a little ball lol) it was the biggest rush...i could so do it again right after!

Shripriya said...

How cool! Sounds really awesome...! I will never be able to do it. Besides a horrible fear of heights, my retinas will detach if I do it... But I live in the hope that 3-D technology is improving every day :)

So glad you did it!!

shub said...

Just yesterday I was thinking whenever I do it I'm just gonna shut off my brain, not overanalyse and just jump!
I'm SO darn jealous!
But you've skydived also na..? hmph!

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

:) yeah going first before anyone else only makes it scarier. and i was ready to go back and do it too!

LOL @ retinas will detach. :) yeah i don't think it's actually fun if you have a fear of heights...

:) yeah, just jump should be the key. i don't think i had talked myself into it when i went up there. i just went.
sky-diving was actually less scary- may be because i was with the instructor and had full faith in him..

Anonymous said...

I dont think I can ever do it!!! :(

ferret said...

they shud just say to anyone who does so much drama at the tip,,, 'you want to be given a chicken pass?!'
'NOOO! i would rather jump off a cliff,, oh wait that's what i came here for!'
chicken pass!!! haahhahaha...

Stone said...

Ohh yes, I can feel that anxiety n thrill….
I did that in 03, that too in India.

Now imagine doing it in India with all those flimsy security precautions :-)

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

ms T,
yes you can! you should! :)

ferret ki bacchi!
:) i agree, i found chicken pass funny too. :)

yeah! doing it in india must've been quite something else. my mom would never let me. :/