All of my special occasions are very well planned – Always! And it was time for me to plan something for my birthday. After deciding on the location (New Zealand (NZ) it was, Yipppeee!), I started planning the itinerary. One of the items on my to-do list in NZ, was bungy jumping.
After my research on the various locations and agencies in NZ, I decided to go with AJ Hackett Bungy in Queenstown. There were three options – one Kawarau Bungy Jump (43m), second The Ledge (400m) and the third The Nervis Bungy Jump (134m).
I decided to go with the world’s first commercial bungy jump – Kawarau Bungy Jump 🙂 . I took the help from Flight Centre and booked the jump for Rahul and me. I was so excited and freaked out (both at the same time) that I did not sleep that night thinking about the jump.
Jump Day – Wonderful day of 18 July:
Rahul and I were picked up at 8 AM and were taken to the Kawarau bridge. Even though, the drive was very scenic and breathtakingly beautiful, I was panicking and I was cold. I wanted to do the jump but at the same time I was cursing myself for booking it.
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After signing our declarations and medical forms, we were allowed to go into the viewing platform. The viewing platform had few steps to the bridge, from where we were jumping. The bridge had two spots next to one another for jumps. And there was a river flowing underneath. I stood at the platform for sometime looking at all the crazy ones jumping one by one from the bridge. My heart was racing. What if this was a mistake!
‘Why cannot I overcome my fear?’ I was challenging myself again and again. On our turn, Rahul and I took the two spots – next to each other. There were two guys helping me wear the gear. First one helped me with the waist belt and second one tied the bungy chord to the wrapped towel on my calf muscles.
The second instructor was reiterating (noticing me constantly looking down the river), ‘Don’t look down!’ And he tried to give me confidence by saying, ‘it’s like jumping into a swimming pool.’ (Dude! I am that person who has never ever jumped into a swimming pool ?). Finally, when I had to stand at the edge just before the jump, I chickened out. Announcing that I can’t, I left the bridge with a heavy heart and teary eyes. I had never given up in my life – Never! And this time, I had – on my birthday. I had not overcomed my fear. I saw Rahul do the jump, which made me sore all the more.
Seeing me all upset, Rahul convinced me for a tandem jump. He spoke to the staff (who were super friendly) and asked them if there was just one spot for us that day. Unfortunately, there was a tour group of youngsters who had booked the entire day. But the manager gave us a light of hope, she informed us that she would give us a call, if there were any cancellations.
Hoping for a second chance, we returned to Queenstown. And guess what? ? – we received a call. Super excited, we caught the bus. This time I had to do it. After so much drama!
I was panicking again (panick was my favourite expression that day). But I made sure I never looked down at the river. After wearing our belts and chords, we were ready. We had to take small tiny steps to the edge. I was super nervous, whilst the staff cracked some light hearted jokes (of course on me :/ , any doubts?).
‘Jump, jump and jump Chiya!’ I heard and then in no time we had jumped (or pushed, who knows). I had frozen (yes, my way of getting scared is to freeze and not scream). I had had no time to think or act. I don’t even remember if I was holding my breath. All I know was I had clinged onto Rahul – like real tight (we dive into the river? We do it together 😉 ).
After a short free fall, we bounced two or three times. When we slowed down and stopped bouncing, we were gradually pulled down, onto a raft.
After stepping onto the raft, I felt something extraordinary – happy, delighted and liberated. I had done it!
Even though I had given up the first time, I had tried again and I had jumped. This was the craziest thing I had ever done in my life. Sky diving had looked like a cake walk. I had never ever been so scared in my life and yet I had overcommed my fear. With of course a big massive support from Rahul.
I am sure whoever said, “Try until you succeed” told it with a lot of experience 🙂 .