There have been a few times in my life when my body has been scared but my mind has been calm. Unfortunately for me, these moments usually end in me blacking out.
I was arriving in Auckland, New Zealand on a small Cessna and was late for my bungee jumping appointment. I had no idea where I was going, no idea how to get there and no idea what to do next. I found wifi access, checked my e-mail and hoped in a taxi to the address listed on the website.
The cab driver dropped me off at the indicated intersection in downtown Auckland. On my left was a closed museum, on my right was a Subway. I grabbed a sandwich and waited for the van that was supposed to pick me up. Half way through my tuna sandwich, I regretted my food decision. For those who are curious, tuna and bungee jumping don’t mix. A guy with a heavy Kiwi accent jumped out of an unmarked van and asked if I was Danny. I decided I was and we drove to the bungee jumping base.
I quickly signed some paperwork saying I might die, put on a harness and locked my wallet in a locker. (It turns out you don’t need ID to jump off a bridge) We walked toward the Auckland Bridge and the guide led me through a gate covered in barbed wire. (Nothing says good decisions like wire shards). The bridge was under construction at we waited for the construction workers to stop welding before moving on. They smiled, stopped working and got in position to watch.
The guide asked me sit in a contraption that looked oddly like a birthing table and had me put my legs up stirrups. He tied my legs at the ankles (wait what type of blog post is this?) and cranked up some heavy metal music.
Up until this point I was nervous but not scared. As soon as I stood up and felt my ankles tied together, I got scared. I waddled, sexy-penguin style to the edge and looked back. The construction workers took one look at my face and burst out laughing. In my mind I knew I was safe but my body was petrified. I took a slight jump forward toward the edge so that my toes hung over. Upon doing this, the excess rope fell and gave me a slight tug. My stomach dropped and realized it was time to go. I bent my knees and jumped as far forward as I could.
It was at that moment that I blacked out.
I didn’t faint but my memory temporally stopped. This was not the first time that this happened. I have gone sky diving about a dozen times and due to this same “feature”, I don’t actually ever remember the first 50 feet after jumping off the wing of the plane. Apparently it was the same for bungee jumping.
I came to right before the rope became taunt and I burst out laughing. I gave a embarrassing he-man holler and put my arms out wide. I did several loops before eventually coming to a near rest 10 or so feet above the water. I had just landed in Auckland a hour ago and here I was bungee jumping.
I pulled the release strap and freed my legs. The guides pulled me up and the construction workers applauded. (I had succeeded in impressing 1/6th of the village people.)
Hanging there, I thought to myself what my next endeavor might be. Quickly it appeared in my mind. Next up was dinner. I was still hungry after that disappointing tuna sandwich.