I like to think of myself as an adrenaline junkie, a risk-taker, a go-getter and a yes-sayer (if that’s a thing?). However, as time goes on I’ve accepted that this is a sham. Whilst I am a thrill seeker, I’m also a massive scaredy-cat. I am literally scared of everything so I find myself stuck in this strange limbo of wanting to jump off insanely high cliffs but not wanting the rope to snap. The epitome of this personal crisis can be highlighted by a recent experience in the Philippines. I wanted to do a buggy ride so badly, and I did it .. but I spent the whole time crying and hated almost every second. I was so scared that the buggy was going to tip, or the engine was going to explode or the earth itself was going to self-combust… you see where I’m going! So, I decided that New Zealand would be the perfect place to conquer my fear of fear and do as many crazy, stupid and fun things that I could, provided they were safety certified of course…
My first challenge had to be a bungy jump, go hard or go home as they say! The closest thing I had done to bungy jumping was probably jumping into the deep end of a swimming pool, so the thought of hurling myself off a 43m bridge over the Kawarau River was daunting to say the least. The spectacular bridge bungy has been set up by the adrenaline experts over at AJ Hackett. The self-proclaimed leaders of adrenaline-fuelled fun have 8 activities in New Zealand and after a brief google search I was convinced they were the ones who could make me bungy!
The drive to the bungy site was an emotional rollercoaster and the temptation to turn the car around became a near-reality. When we arrived, we headed into the welcome building which has a futuristic vibe and features a spiral walk-way down to the front desk. We checked in at the reception and were given our ticket to bungy. After an obligatory toilet break we headed out to the bridge. Outside there is a viewing deck so all your near and dear can get a good view of you hurtling towards the riverbank. The bridge is a tourist attraction in its own right and busloads of tourists stop to catch a glimpse of the crazies jumping off the ledge! This creates a really positive, encouraging atmosphere which I would later appreciate when it was my turn to go.
As I stepped into my harness I was genuinely petrified however the staff up there know what they’re doing and this certainly helped instil a small bit of calm into my panicked brain. The queue to go moved far too quickly and before I knew it I was up. I’ve said this before, but I am a highly dramatic person by nature. However, I can honestly say that looking over the ledge to the drop below was the one of the scariest things I have ever done, second only to jumping itself. The crew gave me a count down.. 3, 2, 1 … and I thought nope this is not for me. Every single fibre of your body is saying get down from this ledge immediately and somehow you have to hot wire logic and take a leap of faith!
So as you can see, I managed to swallow my fear and jump off the bridge! I always imagined that the impact of the rope unravelling would be really sore and whilst there was definitely a shock when the rope reached the end, it wasn’t as bad as I was expecting. To be honest the hardest thing was trying to climb out of the dingy boat at the bottom!
I have to give props to the AJ Hackett team. They are obviously seriously experienced and clued in on what to do. They certainly put my nerves at ease … as much as was possible! The moral of the story is that whilst I was so scared to do it, taking this leap of faith was worth it! So now the adrenaline diaries have begun, keep an eye out to see what’s coming next!
Thanks for reading!