New Zealand: Facing my fears at the Nevis Bungy

“NO WAY!!” I would say when asked if I was going to do the Nevis Bungy jump on my first trip to New Zealand in 2011. I remember sitting in the hostel room in Queenstown watching everyone’s bungy jump video’s, my legs turning to jelly. You are absolutely bat sh*t crazy I would think to myself and anyway I promised my mum I wouldn’t. I happily did a skydive though, once you make the decision you don’t really have a choice in the matter do you? The guy your attached to is going to throw himself out of that plane and you are going with him, cheeks flapping in the wind, whether you like it or not! But, to physically throw your own body 134metres hurtling towards the ground, tied to a piece of elastic is a whole new ball game, it didn’t even bare thinking about. I genuinely believed there was no way I would be able to do it even if I wanted to.

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Two years later I found myself back in Queenstown with my boyfriend (Dan) and two friend’s. Our two friend’s had always planned to do the Nevis bungy, but Dan and I said we wouldn’t. After a few days and a bit of peer pressure Dan was telling our friend’s he was going to jump, was I really going to be the only one not to do it? Was I going to return from New Zealand for the second time having not jumped? In the end I agreed to pay the money to jump, there was no way I was going to let Dan do it and have him hold that against me for the rest of time. Anyway, if he could do it then I sure as hell could.  Except deep down I still didn’t believe I could.

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Did someone say leap frog?

I drank so much alcohol the night before the jump to try and calm my nerves I found myself throwing up just minutes before jumping. My whole body felt like it was convulsing, I was absolutely terrified! Sod’s law would have it that as I was the lightest in our group, I would have to go last, even though I was begging them to let me go first. I watched all three of them go, screaming for each of them! I was desperately concentrating on not being sick again as I looked down through the glass floor to the valley below. “Why did I sign up for this” I thought to myself. As they strapped my feet up, another group arrived in the suspended cabin and all I could think about was what an idiot I would look, tears streaming down my face when I admit “I can’t do it!”.  I shuffled myself to the edge of the ledge, heart pounding in my chest,bottom lip quivering as I tried desperately not to cry and head held as high as possible so that I couldn’t see down. A hand was placed between my shoulder blades, “oh god, oh god… here we go” I was thinking, swallowing hard, my arms shaking out to the side of me.  “Three, Two, One” said the man and with slight pressure on my back he removed his hand, that’s my cue to go I thought, “just do it” i urged myself and out of nowhere, eyes scrunched shut, I launched myself off the ledge. I didn’t dive gracefully through the air like everyone else though, I literally jumped and fell through the air in a frog-like position, praying I wouldn’t hit the ground! With my stomach in my mouth I opened my eyes as the river and the valley floor below rushed towards me. As I was being pulled back up to the cabin above, whole body shaking as the adrenaline left my body, I was finally able to appreciate the view. All before I threw up again!!

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This moment will stay with me for the rest of my life as it is quite possibly one of the biggest mental battles I have ever had with myself.. all whilst standing on a ledge suspended 134m in the air. It just goes to show some things really are just mind over matter.

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