Extreme Sports - Do You Dare?
Yesterday, I did something a bit different. Not only did I turn 23, but I celebrated it for the first time away from my friends and family. By "celebrate", I mean I went bungee jumping.
Are you a bit of an adrenaline junkie? Could you throw yourself out of a plane? Swim with sharks? Go paragliding? It's normal to be very nervous about these crazy activities - not everybody enjoys them, and some would rather not even try. And that's absolutely fine. But for those of you who are interested, here is my review of the latest extreme sport I have tried.
Great Canadian Bungee is the biggest bungee jump in North America, with the rebound alone being bigger than any other bungee jump on the continent. I pre-booked my jump so that I could choose the time for my birthday. This particular jump is very near Canada's capital city, Ottawa. This means it is quite easy to access, but the easiest method of transport is by car.
I arrived, gave my name to the lady at reception, and then had the unpleasant experience of signing the disclaimer. At that point, I questioned myself. I was essentially signing my life away, and saying that if I died, it was not their fault. Wow. I signed anyhow, and a little while later, I was allowed to walk up the path to the scaffolding, where the jump takes place.
I should say that this jump site is rather beautiful, in a rustic way. You are surrounded by white and grey cliffs amongst lots of trees, and are jumping towards blue water (which you can hit when you jump, if you wish). The day I was there was a sunny and warm day, which always helps. After climbing the steps up the scaffolding, the process begins.
We were a group of approximately 10 people in the same jump group, and our jump order was assigned by height (heaviest to lightest), putting me towards the end as men often weigh more than women. I watched several nervous men tentatively fall off the jump platform before my turn arrived. For this reason, I would say bungee jumping is not for the faint-hearted!
Then, our scheduler gave me a waist harness and strapped me into a harness with 2 holes for my feet. We walked to the platform area, where 2 more seasoned bungee jump instructors were waiting to assist me. After double-checking all of my harnesses and safety equipment, I was attached to the jump rope and allowed to walk to the platform edge.
Personally I have no fear of heights. Birds terrify me, but heights are pretty cool with me. After my countdown from 5, I spread my arms into a swan dive and leapt from the platform. The DVD later showed my entire jump to be rather more graceful than I had imagined it to be. The rebounds were almost as good as the first jump, but then the blood did indeed rush to my head. One of my shoes also felt like it might fall off under the strain of holding my body weight until I was lowered into the waiting boat.
To summarise, it was a great experience and a wonderful birthday present to myself, but not as much fun as skydiving. And definitely shorter! But if, like me, you enjoy the feeling of adrenaline, I'd certainly recommend it.