Friday, July 29, 2005

TASK #26: Bungee Jump

This is how my bungee jump went down!

We made it to Vegas on Sunday, and on Monday I walked into A. J. Hackett’s Bungy Co.

It was a cool place with cocktail tables and a bar to do shots if you wanted some liquid courage.
No liquor for me though. I decided to just go up to the counter and plop down my cash, before I ran out of there screaming like a little girl.
I said “Let’s do it!”. She’s like, “Huh?” She had no clue what I was talking about. LOL
She hands me some release forms that basically explain to the judge and jury, should it come to that, that I was fully aware of what I was getting into. And that Hackett was not liable for my potential death, dismemberment, or spinal injuries – yikes!

So they took me up to the scaffold, these 3 surfer looking guys, who I could tell had never had a real job in their lives except this. They’re all asking me about Wisconsin Cheese and Beer.
The round elevator we're in makes it to the top and we hop out to the lookout.
They sit me on an elevated platform and start wrapping my legs with this big blanket like thing. They also put me into a harness that latches my chest to my ankle straps.
They ask me if I want to touch the water (the little 5 foot pool at the bottom), I’m like “Hell no!” I don’t want them to mismeasure and have me go through the water!

My legs are so tightly wrapped that I literally have to baby-step it to the edge.
They tell me to look out at the Las Vegas mountain range, and try to dive out to them as far as I can. They count down from 5, all three of them together, behind me. This is where I crap my pants (not really), and I’m all rationalizing about how I shouldn’t be doing this – I’m a father of two little girls, for Christ sakes!! …3...2…

But they got to 1 and I’m like, screw this, I’m doing it. And I dove out as hard as I could.

Yeah - that's me diving off.
That first drop was crazy – I was absolutely terrified – "I’m gonna die!"
I saw that ground and pool and cement coming towards me – Jesus!
Then, before I splat to the ground, I feel myself being tugged back, and I fly back up and hit the peak height again, and holy Jesus, I realize I have to drop again and it's happening.
Dropping the second time was the worst, I thought, because at that point I’m flapping over at the peak, no longer really facing straight down. The pool and ground come at me again. I have no idea what to do with my arms so they start going in circles - like that's gonna help.
Then I bounce again – will this ever end?

Finally, after the third bounce I start to slow down, and then I see this guy at the bottom with a very long pole. He’s using it to reach out to me and I grab it and am pulled down, head first. He finally pulls me in by hand onto a trampoline like platform and I’m back on the ground. He unstraps me from my legs and the bungee chord shoots up and away.

Ah, tera firma!
Ok – it was scary as hell, and I can tell you I don’t need to do it again. But if I had to, could I? – absolutely. The point of these challenges is to stretch your limits, to show you that you can do more than you think, and that there can be great rewards just past the things you fear, but you have to go through them to get those rewards. My reward after this was a feeling that I could do more, and a realization that my fear was really unfounded. I was ready for more.

Next big one for me – skydiving baby! Probably through --> SkyDive Milwaukee

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