THE JOY OF FEAR

Queenstown Travel Blog

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So HIGH

Ok call me CRAZY. But this morning I jumped from a bridge and plunged head first 134 feet down to a fast moving river!. I have pictures and a video to prove it.  But first the facts:

 

·         The form of Bungy jumping is from the Island of Vanuatu in the Pacific where they have been throwing themselves from huge towers for centuries with nothing more than a few vines tied to their feet.

·         The women did it to supposedly achieve fertility

·         The men for proving their masculinity

·         When the missionaries came, they banned the women from doing it.

A perspective on how high we have to jump
( I don’t know why)

·         A.J. Hackett  of New Zealand popularized and perfected the sport jumping from this very bridge down to the .river

·         On November 11, 1988 the Kawarau Bridge became the world’s first, full time Bungy site. This is “Home of the Bungy”

·         It is rated one of the top ten extreme things to do before you die!

·         99% of Bungy Jumpers say it’s one of the best things they have ever done!

·         Bungy is actually about challenging yourself.

Beauty vs Fear
“We never push anybody off. So people really have to find it in themselves to jump off the bridge” Henry van Asch (Co-founder of Bungy jumping)

 

Originally it was just Andrew who was going to jump. He had had been a little bit anxious the night before. I had seen videos on this on the Discovery Channel and never thought I would even contemplate throwing myself off a bridge to a raging river.  I don’t know what possessed me but when we got to the bridge. I quietly said to myself, “whatever it takes, I am going to do it. Today is the first day of the rest of my life!”

 

They tied me up, I looked down (wrong move) and said to myself, Lester you are nuts. I suppressed my fear, mustered all the courage I had within me and then the jumpmaster said..oops your weight on your toe tag (how ominous) does not match the number they wrote in indelible ink on your hand. You need to go back and have yourself weighed all over again.!”  As I walked off the bridge I saw Andrew and the rest of the bystanders look at me thinking ...”looser” he has chickened out!

 

After being re weighed and getting the right Kilogram  number imprinted on my hand, I was ready to jump.

On a different day this would have been a nature shot!
By this time I had decided on  my strategy. Do not hesitate and jump right off..but before I could take the plunge, the jumpmaster once again grabbed me by the shoulders and I thought to myself, “what now?” However he just wanted be to me to look at the video cameras! (you can see the video, where he does this).

 

I jumped. (unlike my son who tried to swan dive)...and what a jump it was! The raging river waters literally jumped at me and as my head hit the cold water   it took whatever breath I had left in me. I screamed in triumph, raised my fist in the air (all be it downward) and  then screamed again in excitement at life. After 3 jerks up and down from the bungy cord, a yellow life raft came to my rescue. I grabbed on to  the stick and they pulled me in. The guys in the boat asked me how it was. I replied:” Kind of like when I lost my virginity!” They laughed  and said, “too much information!” But it was true. Minutes of nervousness,  followed by sweet elation.

 

 

 

Side bar story:

 

While I was jumping, Andrew was on the side of the bridge talking with another guy who was getting his courage to jump.

The little yellow raft to catch us!
Andrew asked him if he was going to get wet. He appeared nervous and said no. His 2 sons standing by him said, ”go for it dad.”  Andrew had no idea at that time but he was talking to the legendary Joe Montana! (his wife jumped before me and I remember discussing with her how more females were jumping then males). So here was this football icon, who had given us many breathless moments when he had been at the one yard line, 4th down and seconds on the clock. Here he was in New Zealand and as  anxious as the rest of us!  I can truthfully say that the legendary Joe Montana watched me jump (see picture) and like the rest of us had to  face our fears and grab whatever  courage we have within us.  

 

After the jump, every one is given a  certificate that  reads: “  .(name)........... has just faced their fear and embraced a feeling of euphoria by bungy jumping from the Kawarau bridge the original bungy site. Having connected with the latex bungy cord the tool of confidence, this relieved person has become more than  your average Joe”  By the way, no one had any idea that a “non average Joe” was going to be there that day.

The fear begins
( I had Joe Montana sign my certificate. How cool is that?)

 

I took one last look at the bridge and the river as we drove away and thought to myself everyone needs a form of controlled danger in their life.....THERE REALLY IS JOY IN FEAR!

TessaHill says:
You did it!!! I am proud for you!
Well done!
Tessa in TX
Posted on: Mar 30, 2008
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So HIGH
So HIGH
A perspective on how high we have …
A perspective on how high we have…
Beauty vs Fear
Beauty vs Fear
On a different day this would have…
On a different day this would hav…
The little yellow raft to catch us!
The little yellow raft to catch us!
The fear begins
The fear begins
My jumping papers
My jumping papers
All buckled up!
All buckled up!
WOW..did I jump that?
WOW..did I jump that?
Lets get this over with
Lets get this over with
The crowd watches
The crowd watches
Ready SET..
Ready SET..
OK MY FAREWELL WAVE
OK MY FAREWELL WAVE
I AM GOING TO DIE!
I AM GOING TO DIE!
A LONG LONG WAY DOWN..
A LONG LONG WAY DOWN..
Swinging like a stupid monkey!
Swinging like a stupid monkey!
Another jolt to the heart!..the co…
Another jolt to the heart!..the c…
Getting sick to my stomach
Getting sick to my stomach
Hanging on a thread
Hanging on a thread
Check the rafters below
Check the rafters below
I missed the pole the first time!
I missed the pole the first time!
Just in case i slip
Just in case i slip
Steps to climb up
Steps to climb up
Glad to be on terra firma
Glad to be on terra firma
The walk back up
The walk back up
This was more work than jumping!
This was more work than jumping!
The long and winding climb
The long and winding climb
My kness were trembling
My kness were trembling
WHAT A RUSH..my heart is still pou…
WHAT A RUSH..my heart is still po…
looking down
looking down
I cant wait to fly
I cant wait to fly
Andrew..full of smiles..Where is h…
Andrew..full of smiles..Where is …
NO FEAR
NO FEAR
I THINK I AM A BIRD
Check out And…
I THINK I AM A BIRD Check out An…
Ready for the plunge!
Ready for the plunge!
The long walk up
The long walk up
What a relief..now the walk up
What a relief..now the walk up
He is all excited. Me I am nervous…
He is all excited. Me I am nervou…
THA WAS EPIC!
THA WAS EPIC!
The Legendary Joe Monta and his son
The Legendary Joe Monta and his son
Joes Certificate
Joe's Certificate
Joe Montan signed my certificate
Joe Montan signed my certificate
MEMORIES TO LAST A LIFE TIME FOR F…
MEMORIES TO LAST A LIFE TIME FOR …
Bungy Jumping in New Zealand
Bungy Jumping in New Zealand
Queenstown
photo by: genetravelling