You know those irrational fears that cripple your very soul when confronted in extremely normal circumstances. For instance, when you find yourself trembling in the back seat of a car, with a heightened awareness of the placement of your feat in order to avoid the rails in which a seat slides back and forth… ensuring your foot does not get railed over and sliced between the toes… *I was an only child in the backseat with no one to talk to and an imagination without limitation
Well, with the focus of ‘fear’ in mind, I would like to proclaim that I, Emma, daughter of two people who love each other way too much after 25 years of marriage, faced my fears earlier this week and jumped off a tiny wooden platform, attached to a bridge, with nothing but a thick rubber band tightly bound around my ankles to prevent my death. With little than three hours of booking and preparing for this jump, my mind was somewhat, incomprehensible of what was to follow.
Just to give you some background on my fear of heights, as I write this and relive these moments of irrational insanity, my clammy hands sticking to the the keys in anticipation of simply the thought of ‘heights’. There have been very few situations where I have felt the need to confront this ‘issue’, most of which involved impressing boys, one boy in particular led me high into the rafters of a stage with nothing but a plank width walkway and a single bar to hold onto – however, my hopes of casually brushing it off with a sway of my hips was lost, as everyone crawled along while I inappropriately sprawled out and wormed my whole way across the ledge, leaving a slug-like sweat trail behind me.
Last year however, I did some facing of fears purely for my own enjoyment and bragging rights. I rock climbed and abseiled in Cambodia, paraglided through the Austrian Tyrol and lay my life on the line climbing to the top of a very high playground made from ropes, purely because the children thought it would be funny to pretend to be stuck at the top. With that year now at an end, I thought my year of the height conquer would be through, however six days into the new year, I am practically peer pressured and black mailed with tequila to bungee jump 43 metres in the air.
What started off as a “lets just check it out and watch some others jump” quickly turned into “lets just burn $200, ensure your funeral plans are in place and find a top that wont allow the ‘ladies’ to make an appearance on one of the fifteen cameras surrounding the bridge” The worst part was, we still had three or so hours to kill until our jump, so we made our way to our accommodation and ensured our booze was stored in the fridge awaiting our return..should we return at all.
Arriving a little early to our prep meeting, we stood outside watching a few more jumpers, thinking it would encourage and thrill us… instead we all ran to the bathroom to nervous pee and rethink this terrible life decision. Walking along that bridge to the bondage station, I felt my knees buckle underneath me as I remained dead in the centre of the lane to ensure my eyes wouldn’t deceive me and take a quick glance over the edge. My partner was the first to get her ankles bound while peering down to the pit of hell, while I remained silent and focused on remembering to breathe. Sliding along a small section of planks that looked like some five year old kid decided to build a treehouse, I felt the panic rise in my throat and then the cursing began.
You see since jumping, I have ensured all areas of social media have seen my photos, worn my t-shirt on the plane and paraded it among the crowds…however the video has remained dormant…not for its lack of brilliance on my behalf, but because I am rather fond of my rent-free room as well as the love and support of my parents and I’d rather not wreck that with the breakdown and sinful ways of a daughter who so carelessly displayed her true self in front of fifteen different cameras… so until I own my own home and have three potential husbands in the running that video will remain locked away.
What happened next is supposedly the best part of bungee jumping, the wave to the cameras, which all in all should take around five seconds, I, however got a little..stuck. As I stood up, inching my way forward I found myself come to a sudden halt only to be sweetly encouraged and gradually pushed with “walk a little bit more….little bit more….actually shuffle….you need to move your feet forwards…not side to side” and with a little more force and some kind words I made it to the edge…around thirty seconds later…
“Okay, your doing great, now smile to the camera on the front, and turn to your left and give a little wave….awesome, now your ready to go in 3,2…”
*I never heard the 1, instead I found myself literally flinging myself off the platform, jumping vertically with my feet facing the ground as if that was a good idea
With a few screams, some more curse words and a mighty whack of whiplash later, I had made it to the bottom in the safe hands of my sexy skipper who greeted me by saying “Did you really just say you are the best f***ing human in the world…” ….”yes, yes I did” … in which he replied with incredible banter and fast wit “but I am the one who just saved your life” and with that I found my soul mate who will never know the special place he holds in my heart.
Without regret, I am so proud of myself for making that jump, more so for the bragging rights than anything else…even though my my head still hurts, my heart is still stuck in my boob and I still have bruises on my ankles… I honestly think the worst part of the whole thing was getting weighed and discovering I gained 2kgs in the space of three days, and THEN to be branded with that number on my hand in vivid to remind me of those late night trips to grab Chinese.