Hello. Again I do apologize for the missing last week’s Sunday Special. I had planned to do this post but was so tired after my exhilarating day. Then I was still going strong with several birthday celebrations in the next few days. So here it is. Today will be about my first experience bungee jumping!
Bungee jumping is not something that has been on my bucket list, unlike skydiving. I have waffled back and forth on it for years, wondering if it was something worth doing. I decided upon it earlier this year when I thought that facing a fear would be worthwhile. I am not fond of high ledges and what better way to deal with this than stepping off one and plunging 50m/164 feet over a fast-moving river. And what a jump it was!!
Whistler is located 115km/70 miles north of Vancouver. So I rented a car, piled in with some of my best friends and headed north. My jump with Whistler Bungee was at 3:00pm so we wandered around Whistler Village for a bit and then had lunch on the patio despite the threatening rain and cool weather. Patio fireplaces helped warm us. Despite the drive and time with my friends my stomach was producing butterflies. It may have been these butterflies (and an uneven, wet parking lot) that caused me to unintentionally have a practice fall. Splat! I rolled my ankle, fell forward and then rolled into a puddle. My butt is now wet. I am not happy. My friend’s certainly heard my frustration. Fortunately they are cool and my ankle was not injured – only my pride. This certainly got the adrenaline going. Soon we were on the road despite being a bit late.
It was a cloudy day with a smattering of rain, on and off. I could see the green bridge from the parking lot below, beckoning me. Crossing the metal bridge and seeing the other jumpers was spurring me on. My friends and I looked around and the smiles, wows and excitement was apparent. We headed to the small cottage where I read and signed the waiver, with words such as “not held responsible”, “injury” and “death” failing to deter me, after all Whistler Bungee has a 100% safety record. Their jumps are performed in the middle of the bridge with magnificent views of the mountains and the river below. It certainly is a stunning location. There were about 8 – 10 jumpers ahead of me. It was good to see how they instruct people and get them going. Friends are allowed to be there to cheer you on, take pictures and share the time. We definitely took plenty of photos, all the while stomach still was in butterflies, though it wasn’t until I stood on the ledge that I really became fearful. The staff had already had me in my harness and given me the safety instructions. I had watched numerous others go before me but could not be prepared for that unsettling feeling of being on the edge. I was certain my nerve would hold me back. Absolutely certain yet I told myself “you MUST to do this or you will regret it”. I took a deep breath and held firm in my resolution, in my ‘sisu’ as we say in Finn. In those minutes as I stood with my toes over the edge and my arms out to the side my head took over . I was going to do this as quickly as possible – and with that I stepped off before the countdown got to one, fear and all.
It was the most surreal feeling. I fell yet I was suspended for a myriad of seconds. I was unable to physically scream and then came the rush of the wind as I plummeted. A million thoughts rushed through my head like a spinning wheel, as varied as grateful to be alive to noticing the beauty of the turquoise river below. Then I screamed. As loud as I could muster, a scream of pure elation and adrenaline. When the bungee snapped up I could see it’s purple covering snake upward and I was swung to the other side. More adrenaline. I could not have been in more awe and happy with what had transpired. A moment, a stunning almost dreamlike moment. I had leapt off a bridge into nothingness. I went with it and was more than okay.
All photos taken by Whistler Bungee and owned by Eeva Valiharju / Wanders The World