Toeing the edge of a bridge 216 meters (709 feet) tall, I barely had enough time to think to myself, “How did I end up here?”
Suddenly my legs jumped me off the Bloukrans Bridge in South Africa, the highest commercial bridge bungee in the world. There was a split second after my feet had left the bridge when fear overcame my entire body and consumed me from the inside out.
Holy @#$&*?! I just jumped off a bridge.
Almost instantly, I had transformed from someone who jumped off a bridge to someone who was flying. I mean I was literally flying through the air – head first towards the Bloukrans River with only an elastic cord as my lifeline.
The split second of fear was instantly replaced by the feeling of complete freedom and bliss. Laughter consumed me. Yes, dangling upside down by an elastic cord, I was laughing like a little kid.
Hanging upside down, I observed my surroundings. With the lush greenery and a grayish-blue river raging below me, I felt the mist in the air on my skin. Hearing my heart thumping through my chest, I felt alive.
After being hoisted back up to the bridge, I had a bounce in my step and a smile that spread ear to ear. I felt invincible and empowered because I jumped off a 700-foot tall bridge and survived.
To this day, I don’t understand why I was overcome with such happiness. I would not typically correlate near-death experiences with bliss, but I suppose that’s the magic of adrenaline.
Though bungee jumping was absolutely unreal, you don’t have to jump off a bridge to experience this feeling of liberation.
Do things that scare you, I mean, the stuff that really terrifies you. Sail around the world in a ship for 112 days. Travel to a foreign country and experience a different culture. Talk to that person you pass every day on campus but have never spoken to. Why not?
If the unknown is scary, then knowledge and experience is freedom. When you set in your mind that you hate something before trying it, you limit yourself and miss opportunities to grow and learn.
Coming from the girl who just jumped off a bridge (hey that’s me!), try something that scares you. Whether it’s today, tomorrow, or in a week from now, remember that fear is temporary but regret is permanent. Until next time!