The last thing I ever imagined myself doing when I came to Australia was willingly leaping off a 162 foot platform. That’s right…bungy jumping!
Over Easter weekend, my friends and I headed to Cairns for some adventure seeking. As our trip approached, I knew some of them were planning on bungy jumping and I begain envisioning myself going also. I remember thinking that it couldn’t be any worse than diving off a diving board. In theory, it’s the same concept. When we got to AJ Hackett Cairns, however, reality hit and it finally dawned on me what exactly I was planning to do. Honestly, I almost backed out right there, but in the end I talked myself into it again. I’d made it this far already and who knew when I’d ever have this chance again.
I’d paid and been weighed in preparation for my jump. I was feeling light-headed and giddy with excitement as the guys made their way up to the platform above. As I made my ascent, I was so nervous and excited that it was bubbling uncontrollably outwards into hysterical laughter. At the top, I peered over the edge and, at the time, it didn’t seem so high. I could do this. I hadn’t thought to factor in the blinding effect of the adrenaline pumping through my body though. As I was being harnessed up and attached to my bungy cord, I was pretty confident in my decision to follow through with what I was about to do. I kept imagining myself jumping off the platform in a perfect swan dive without any fear.
Quicker than I would’ve liked, I was standing on the edge of the platform and suddenly 162 feet felt a lot like jumping off Mount Everest. Looking to the pool of water below, I could feel my vision tunneling and focusing in on that single point. While I was standing there, the guy began to count down…3…2…1…and I didn’t jump. I tried backing out, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to get my money back. I had to jump in that case. 3…2…1…and again I didn’t jump. This time I stood there composing my thoughts for a moment, giving myself a much needed pep talk.
3…2…1…JUMP! In that moment, my brain was devoid of any thought or emotion and I could feel myself hurtling towards the water below.
Before I knew it though, my bungy cord caught me and slowed my fall and I quickly found myself being pulled back up. At the crest, I felt weightless and I flailed briefly before gravity reclaimed me again. This happened several times before the guy below paddled out to get me down. I didn’t enjoy the moments going back up particularly, but falling I didn’t mind. I’d imagine it’s akin to the feeling of flying. Other than that, my mind was clear but for those thoughts.
After I was free from my harness, I was feeling like I was on top of the world. Interestingly enough, my heart wasn’t racing like I’d expected it to have been, but I was feeling a little light-headed from the adrenaline rush. The giddiness was back again too.
Looking back on my jump, it all happened so fast it’s really hard to remember what it felt like. I have a vague impression, that’s all, but it’s like it almost never happened at all. For all I know, I could’ve dreamed it. I didn’t even get any bruises or soreness from the harness catching me around the hips and ankles. For the life of me, I can’t even remember it putting pressure on my body either.
Bungy jumping is an experience in itself that really must be experienced for one to understand what it’s truly like. I’m glad I had the courage to take the leap of faith and be able to say I’ve done it. As AJ Hackett said, “Every day you should do something that reminds you you’re still alive!” And as I can say, I’ve never felt so alive before.