Saturday morning. I woke up at the hostel and had completely forgotten my plans for the day. I laid in bed thinking about my dog, at home I always cuddle with him in the mornings and scratch him until he makes funny noises, it’s the thing I miss most while I’ve been in Costa Rica. Then I heard my friend Ann laughing in the common area outside my door and it came to me… I’m risking my life today. I’m jumping today- bungee jumping to be specific.
I’ve always wanted to bungee jump, my whole family has bungee jumped at various times, my sisters, my mother and father; but I hadn’t encountered the opportunity yet. So when Ann and I started to talk about Monteverde she excitedly told me she was planning on bungee jumping, and I was hesitant at first- was this the right moment? But I jumped on Ann’s train and decided to do it, I knew if the opportunity came along and I didn’t take it, that I would regret it later.
So, Saturday morning. When we had loaded the bus that would take us to the bungee site, Ann and I both nervously chatted about everything except the dangerous activity ahead. However, when we arrived, we were thrown (pun not intended) right into it. We checked-in, had our weight measured, and were fitted with our harnesses. Two, very animated and friendly men, took us out onto a platform which would allow us to board the metal crate-like vehicle, which would carry us to the jump site.
I kept telling myself not to look down, so I looked up and saw maybe four cables that were holding up the heavy metal vehicle. That didn’t make me feel any more comfort, so I tried looking straight out from the crate. It was gorgeous but scary. It was still early, so a morning mist was still settling in the mountains around us and there was a thing film of gray over everything we could see. We were around 500ft above the ground so the air was thin and cold. I was shivering, from fear? From genuine chill? I wasn’t 100% sure. Ann spotted a rainbow and insisted that it was a good sign. We were given instructions on our jump: how we would be connected to the cords, when and how to jump, and how to come back up to the box.
One other friend, Joey, was with us, and he went first, Ann and I had promised ourselves not to look down, but when Joey jumped we couldn’t help but watch him fall. Suddenly we were both emphatically more energized and excited! There was no understanding the feeling, we just knew we felt better. When he came back up we were both anxious to jump for ourselves.
Ann jumped, and came back smiling. Now it was my turn. I remembered being cold, but no longer felt that way, even though the temperature hadn’t changed. I wasn’t hot either, my mind was on the height and the sensations of chill, or goosebumps, or the poking of the crate on my bare feet had all been blocked from reaching my consciousness.
One of them men controlling the jump held a camera in my face and said “any last words? I simply replied: “No… I just wanna do this.” The other guy helped me up to the edge, this was the point that I absolutely couldn’t look down. I heard the man behind me, I knew he was talking to me, but I didn’t pay attention to the words, I waited to hear one specific word, ‘one.’ I heard him talking and then I heard the numbers, “Five… Four…” I kept telling myself in my head: ‘you’re jumping on ‘one,’ you’re jumping on ‘one,’ you’re jumping on ‘one.” I knew myself well enough to know that if I hesitated for even a moment this jump wasn’t going to happen. I heard him again “Three… Two…” I bent my knees to launch and felt every muscle and bone in my body screaming at me not to do it, not to jump. Obviously, the feeling of jumping into the air at that height is unnatural. There is nothing normal about the feeling of bungee jumping, but I had made up my mind to jump no matter what my body told me. “…One!” I jumped! I let out a small uncontrollable scream for one second, and stopped. The free fall only lasted three seconds but it was more like thirty seconds, there was no sudden jerk at the end of the rope as I had expected, there was a small pull on my harness and I felt myself bounce back upwards once. Then the motion started settling and I was hanging upside down by my legs. I let out a “wow,” and let my arms hang loosely past my head. I saw the retrieval rope lower down to where I was hanging, I took it and quickly attached it to my harness as instructed and relaxed while I was pulled back to the crate.
I felt new. I felt powerful. I always knew I could do anything I wanted but I never proved it to myself until that moment, and now that I’ve done it I have a new mission: Skydiving.