Saturday, 14 June 2014

Bungee Jump

I never actually thought I would be able to cross this off when I first published the Life List but it's something I always wanted to experience. Up until that point parachuting was the most terrifying thing I had ever done and I vowed to never do it again. 

I first heard about it on my tour group in Tibet two days before we arrived at the Last Resort in Nepal. At that time I scared myself a little thinking about it but was able to put it in the back of my mind distracted by the beauty of Tibet that we were experiencing. 

Not so one day before we arrived! I started to obsess over the fact that I needed to do it especially as it would be my birthday which seemed poetic and other people in the tour group were getting excited about it, the pressure mounted and my palms were sweating in anticipation at that last step I would need to take. 
                                                    Anticipation is far worse than the act. 

I woke on my birthday in a small town near the Tibet Nepal border and despite the beautiful countryside, going through Chinese immigration, my groups birthday wishes and a cake, the jump was all I could think about, palms sweating, heart rate raised and stressed. 

We arrived at the Last Resort and finally saw the bridge that was to challenge my fears and sanity, I was terrified, D day on my B day and there was no backing out. 

After settling in to our cabins and having a small lunch with a couple of vodkas for the nerves that did nothing to abate the terror, I was second in line and getting strapped into the harness unable to think clearly or rationally. 

I must mention at this point the incredible support I felt from my fellow jumpers standing in line behind me and the rest of the tour group on the edge of the cliff yelling encouragement though everything was becoming a blur in a tempest of heart palpitating fear. 

I searched for Zen as I approached the ledge and sang my own version of happy birthday to myself into the go pro camera mounted on my helmet. 

                                                              "Happy birthday to me,
                                                                    I'm so terrified,
                                                            I'm jumping off a bridge now....."

I had rehearsed this in my mind for the last two days and psyched myself into the fact that I must jump on the word "bridge". 
                                                            I don't remember jumping.
Those first two to three seconds free fall were bittersweet to understate the enormity of the experience and I don't think I was able to smile until the second bounce, such an unnatural thing to do deliberately. 

Once down safely lying on the bench being unharnessed I spent some time in deep contemplation and a little bit concerned about a twinge I had in my back but emerged full of elation, adrenalin charged and thankfully, unscarred. 

As I type this my brow is furrowed, my heart rate raised and my palms sweaty just thinking about it as I'm sure will happen for years to come remembering this insane act. I'm very proud of myself for going through with it, glad I had the experience and vow to never do it again although at 160m this is not the highest bungee jump in the world.......