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Bungee Jump (in Costa Rica, nonetheless!), completed

When I was in Costa Rica, I decided to go bungee jumping (with much encouragement from my then-boyfriend, who had gone bungee jumping at the original site in New Zealand).

I had never had an interest in bungee jumping before, but my interest was piqued when several guys from the hostel I was staying in went and couldn't stop talking about how great it was.  I mentioned the idea in an email to Ex who responded with, "Do it.  Don't think, just do it.  You'll be fine." I contacted Tropical Bungee and set up a time for the next day.  Now that they were going to pick me up from my hostel, I had no excuse.

I told several people what I was doing, but not my mother.  I figured I'd call her after the fact so as not to worry her before the fact...

So the day of I felt sick and could only eat six guaba newtons (just about the greatest food on the planet).  I was picked up at 1 pm, and nearly an hour later found myself in Naranja, on a jump platform, 265 feet (80 m) up, about to fall 220 feet (68 m).

There were three people across the bridge with another company but I was the only one in my company. Cool thing, these two companies don't really compete with each other but rather watch out for each other and each other's customers. The woman on the other side who was getting strapped up told me I looked terrified. She was totally calm.

I couldn't do it; I couldn't look calm. I admit, I was scared out of my gourd. They kept telling me not to look down, which is so much easier said than done. I didn't have my glasses on, and that was bad enough. If I had perfect vision, I probably would've puked. The dudes had to count me down something like 3 times, and it took a 14-year-old who had gone, and who looked like Cousin Aaron, telling me I'd be OK before I could go.  However, when I finally let them finish the countdown, I did go.

With my eyes closed until I felt my feet release.

Then I opened them.

Amazing. A few seconds of free fall, a slight snap, and then swheeeeeing back up in the air, staring at the underside of this old rusted no-longer-used-by-cars bridge. I wanted to close my eyes but couldn't. Then swinging back and forth and bouncing up and down and I am staring at this tropical gorge and Rio Colorado below me and my arms are out to the side and it's...awe-inspiring and breathtaking and I didn't even feel sick.

They lowered the carabiner and I was still spinning, so it was a while before I caught it. I attached myself at the waist and they brought me back up and as I was being reeled up, I gazed down at the river below me. Interestingly, being carried up was almost scarier than bouncing up and down on the bungee even though that meant that I was attached at another location.

I got to the top, feeling quite proud, I admit, and I said to the kid, "You look exactly like my cousin Aaron, he's in the Air Force." The guy, Phillip, said he wanted to be in the Air Force. I told him I was a teacher and he said, "Wow, I think I'd be a little scared of one of my teachers if she bungee jumped."  He paused and continued, "In a good way."

I didn't choose to go again although after I was back from Naranja, I wished I'd gone again since my "jump" was rather like a wimpy fall off of the edge of the platform.  

I now have a PAL-format video, a black t-shirt that says "My first bungee" on the back with the outfitter's name on the front, and a bilingual Certificado de Couraje.

And an awesome story to tell my students when I teach them physics.

© Amanda Takes Off