While I was in Auckland, New Zealand, I bungee jumped off the 40m fall of Auckland Harbour Bridge. Here is the comprehensive account of my experience:
I was absolutely terrified. In fact, I was so anxious about it that I even had a dream about it the night before (It involved me having to jump of the bridge whilst holding a basketball…it was weird). I actually thought that I was going to die and I wasn’t ready to die yet. I wasn’t ready to say good-bye to sunrises, and the sound of rain falling on the roof, and warm beds, and the first flowers of the spring time. I was terrified and nervous – more terrified and nervous than I had ever been in my life. On the way, I stopped at a coffee shop to treat myself to a coffee and free muffin just in case it was the last one I ever had in my life. Then I sat down on a bench and wrote an unofficial legal document of my will. I think I was probably over-thinking it. (Yes, I was definitely over thinking it).
I remember climbing the steps up the bridge with a pit in my stomach. Then I had to wait and wait and wait because the order of jumpers was determined by your weight – heaviest to lightest. I was second last…probably not the best place for someone who was already stressed out as the wait only heightened my anxiety. As I waited, my feelings started to change slightly to excitement – just a little – but as soon as it was time for me to sit on the chair and have the bungee tied to my feet, I was all nervousness again. The instructor led me to the edge of the bridge – I shuffled forward until my feet were hanging over the edge. “3-2-1,” said the instructor. I stayed rooted where I was. “Count me down again,” I told him. “Okay, that was just a practice,” he replied. “Here we go: 3-2-1!”
And I pushed my arms out and I jumped, screaming louder than I had ever screamed in my life. It’s hard to describe what it feels like. You don’t even really comprehend what’s going on. It’s like you’re removed from the person you are and become somebody else. Your stomach drops. You’re just falling and falling and you don’t notice the ocean coming nearer and nearer. Then suddenly you bounce back up and swing a little. I was so focused on pulling the cord out of my leg so that I would be sitting upright instead of hanging with all the blood rushing to my head.
They start to pull you up. Your heart is still madly pumping in your chest. You’re still not really conscious of what is going on. But you see the beautiful city and the way the sun is reflecting off the buildings. You see the way the ocean sparkles. And whether you can put it into words or not, you feel something magical. You feel something you’ve never felt before and I think that feeling stays with you. And I think it will come back to you the next time you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place. It will return to you the next time the road ahead is dark and scary and the only way out is through. And when it does, it will fill you with such a strength that you will be able to overcome your deepest fear. It will give you the courage to get through anything. And that’s why I’m glad I jumped. Not just to say that I’ve done it, but because I’ve gained a feeling that no one will be able to take away from me. And that’s priceless.
Would I Do It Again?
I know some people bungee jump and immediately want to do it again. I didn’t feel that way…I think maybe because I was more nervous than other people. To me, bungee jumping was a thing that I wanted to cross off my bucket list and not something that I would make a hobby of. Yes, the feeling I felt afterwards was amazing but does it make up for all the anxiety I experienced before? I’m not sure. And would I ever do it again? I’m not sure either. Maybe…but I think I’ll need a few years to get over it.