Are you an adventure junkie? Jump! And you will find out how to unfold your wings as you fall. Living at risk is jumping off the cliff and building your wings on the way down. Forget the risk and take the fall, experience the adrenaline rush throughout your body and if it’s what you want, then it’s worth it all. Bungee jumping and skydiving both have the risk of death or serious injury involved but people do it anyways. If you ask them why they would risk everything and take up such sports, they say that it makes them feel alive.
This year, I bungee jumped off the 83 meter Jumpin Heights platform in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand and plummeted towards the fresh water below. It was one of the most thrilling and exhilarating experiences in my life. We reached there and all the formalities were done instantly as we were already late for the jump. So we were a group of 20 and we had to rush for the jump. Luckily or unluckily i was the first one to complete the formalities so i was the first one to jump. I proceeded towards the platform while all my friends were completing the formalities. The platform was a 5min walk away. In this 5 mins a lot of thoughts came into my mind and I even contemplated backing off but my want for thrill and the adrenaline rush helped me overcome my coward thoughts. I had just one thing on my mind thereafter, that I had to jump at the first call! Jumpin heights have a rule that they don’t push you and you just get two chances, if you don’t jump within the two calls your bungee gets cancelled. I had challenged my friends that we need to jump in the first call.This challenge kept me motivated. I reached the platform and was ready for the jump. I walked like a zombie to the edge of the platform
I could hear my heart pound in my ears! I was standing at the edge of the bridge, 83 meters above the ground, ready to take the leap of faith. What felt like an eternity but in reality was just a couple of seconds. In that moment, a lot of thoughts flashed through my mind but only a few of them I remember today. The common phrase is “butterflies in the stomach” but what I felt was more like a tornado through my nervous system. The tingling started from my toes, went up to my knees, made a circle in my stomach and rose up from my spine and I felt a little dizzy.
And they started the countdown. 3–2–1–JUMP!… Yeahhhhhhhhhh
Yes and it felt like travelling at near terminal velocity, hurtling towards the ground, with only my ankles attached to the safety gear. It sounds like the stuff of nightmares, but if you are after the ultimate challenge, nothing beats Bungee Jumping.
I let go of all my fears and anxieties, and heard myself screaming as I fell more gracefully than I expected. Then I bounced up and fell again. Suddenly, it wasn’t petrifying any more! I tentatively closed my eyes, but soon realised that it was futile to miss out on even a second of this experience. Swinging madly above the stream, I discovered an upside-down world. It was all over too soon.
They slowly let me down on a bed, and I just lay there for a while. They provided me with a bottle of water and a badge printed “I HAVE GOT GUTS”
This adventure didn’t end here.It was followed by a 20mins track to a quaint lil hilltop cafe. There were two screens, one displayed live ongoing bungee jumping and on the other screen we could see our recorded one. One thing was common in all the videos, people looked scared in the beginning but the at the end most of them had a smile on their faces, a proud smile that showed that they had conquered their fears!
Looking back on it, my bungee jumping experience taught me 4 things about life.
Take the leap of faith.
One of my biggest weaknesses is that I have a tendency to think too much and over analyze things before I make a decision. What I learnt from bungee jumping, is that the longer you wait to take the leap, the more time you have to make excuses and convince yourself to back out. Sometimes in life you just have to take that leap of faith. Close your eyes, jump and everything will work out.
Live in the moment
The biggest thrill from bungee jumping undoubtedly comes from the free-fall and rebound. Afterwards, you fly upwards again as the cord recoils, and then oscillate up and down until you’ve used up all your energy. After this, you’re basically left hanging in mid-air for a minute or two with nothing but the bungee cord keeping you attached to the bridge. This is the part that I actually enjoyed the most.
During that moment, time seemed to stand still. I just spread my arms out and let go and enjoyed the moment. I felt a sense of euphoria followed by a feeling of peace and calm. It was such a Zen moment for me.
What I took away from this, is the importance of living in the moment. Stop thinking too much about the future or dwelling in the past and focus on today.
Jump in the face of fear
There is something about bungee jumping off a 83 meter bridge that makes you feel fearless and invincible. After I completed my jump, I felt an amazing sense of accomplishment and the belief that I could do anything that I set my mind to. My experience has motivated me to take on other goals in life that I thought were unachievable.
The thing about fear is that it will always be there. It will hold you captive and keep you emotionally frozen if you allow it to. Bungee jumping literally forces you to jump in the face of your fears. It teaches you to push through your fear and turn it into courage. And the feeling of pride and accomplishment afterwards is priceless.
Have faith that things will work out
It just so happens that wherever there is an adventure sports there has to be some kind of incident, so this place also had some video on youtube about the rope breaking.
Sure, it did cross my mind that the same thing could happen to me. But I didn’t let it deter me. I just had to have faith that the cord wouldn’t snap and send me plunging towards the fast flowing rapids below.
I decided to take that risk and trust that it would all work out. I was ultimately willing to take responsibility for my actions no matter the outcome.
Life itself is risky and there’s no way of telling whether the decisions you’re about to make are right or wrong until you’ve made them. You just have to accept responsibility for your actions afterwards. You have to take that risk and have faith that it will pay off. Sometimes it will, sometimes it won’t. In the end, at least you have faced your fears and taken that leap of faith.