THE JOY OF FEAR
Queenstown Travel Blog› entry 9 of 9 › view all entries
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.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.
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.
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.
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.
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!