Yesterday, we decided to go Zip Lining while on vacation in Parksville, British Columbia. The "we" was my step-daughter, Tara, my daughter, Elizabeth, and Tara's friend, Cam. Before we went, there was some joking around about going Bungy Jumping and nobody seemed really interested in going, but we still talked about it. I really had no desire to go, that was until later...
When we arrived at the park for the Zip Lining, we filled out the mandatory release forms and got in line to pay. When we got up front, Tara had it in her mind that I was going Bungy Jumping. I know that I could have said no, but I was intrigued at the idea and Tara was paying, so, I was in.
Bungy Jumping was off a bridge about 145 feet above a river and you had the choice of getting wet in the river or not. Before we went Zip Lining, we went up on the bridge and watched as a few other people Bungy Jump. We even saw a couple Bungy Jump together. Looking over the bridge down at the water, it looked really high. I started to have some second thoughts, but when I saw the fear on Tara's friends face just being on the bridge, my mind shifted away from my fear.
We went off and enjoyed our Zip Lining which sent us back and forth over the river, with the last one a 300 foot trek under the bridge I would be jumping off later.
After the zip lining, I went to the desk they asked me to go to for the Bungy Jump, got all signed in, and found out the jump crew was taking their lunch and would be back in about 20 minutes. More time to kill, now I really had to think about the jump. So, I went up on the bridge and enjoyed the view and the energy of the people on the bridge. You could feel the excitement on the bridge as people wanted to watch other people swig and jump.
When the jump crew came back, they first had a mother and son going on the swing from the bridge and then it was my turn. I had met the son as he was part of our zip line group. He was excited about everything he was doing that day and telling us how the zip lining would work. His mother was another story, she really did not want to participate and was happy watching her son enjoy the day, until she found out that her son was too light to go on the swing by himself and then she had to step up and go with him. You could tell she was a bit apprehensive, but she would do it for her son. I did not see them after their swing, but it looked like they had a good time.
Then, it was my turn! They took me behind the gate and tied up my feet. I could feel my heart start to race and a bit of fear, but I just breathed and made sure I stayed in me, centered. As one of the crew finished getting my feet set up, he asked, "How does that feel?" and I said, "Nice and tight." He was surprised as most people tell him, "is that it?" He asked if I wanted to go into the water or not, and I said I wanted the water. He hooked me to the bungy cord and then got me to my feet and told me to inch my way to the edge. After I was standing, they told me how to position myself with my arms above my head together and told me to close my eyes so I would not loose my contacts.
As I moved to the edge, I could feel the bungy cord pulling me to the edge. It as pretty heavy. I was a bit worried that it would just pull me right off the edge, but once I got to the edge, that sensation stopped. As my toes were at the edge of the platform, one of the crew said, "I am ready when you are ready." and after watching the other jumpers, the crew had gently pushed the other jumpers off the edge, so I said I was ready and waited. After a few seconds, I asked, "you are not going to push me are you?" And he just repeated, "I am ready when you are ready." At that point, I knew the jump was in my full control, nobody was going to make me go, or do it for me and I took a deep breath, let it out and leaned forward. In hind sight, it was much better that I was in full control of my jump.
It was a cool sensation to be heading towards the water. I felt like I was jumping off a high dive platform. I wanted to keep my eyes open through the whole experience, but I knew I had to close them. The next thing that I knew I hit the water. When you go into the water, it is just your head and shoulders and then there is a gentile pull as the bungy cord stretches out and pulls you back up and then you bounce around once or twice more before they asked you to grab a "hand" to get me down. I can still feel the excitement of falling and then bouncing around, what a rush!
I bought the video of the jump and you can see it on youtube here. I am glad I got the video as somebody wanted proof that I actually jumped!
I do not know if I would do it again, but who knows, I might! It was a very cool experience.