When I was a kid, I was afraid of a lot of things. I hated the big wooden rollercoaster on the boardwalk, I hated thunderstorms, I hated flying, I hated scary movies. I don’t know what happened, but eventually it wore away. I tried one rollercoaster, then a bigger one, then one with a loop, then one with many loops. I camped out at my bedroom window, hoping to catch a lightning bolt. I realized where flying could get me in the world. I became a film studies minor and took a class called The Study of Horror Films. And somewhere along the line I became an adrenaline junkie.
“Adventure Weekend” was a trip put together by my study abroad program. We took a bus to Killary Harbor and dormed at the adventure center there, with the opportunity to participate in all kinds of activities (including zip lining, windsurfing, rock climbing, and archery). Bungee jumping was an option, and as soon as I found out I just knew I had to do it. There was no way I could leave Ireland knowing the opportunity had been right there in front of me and I missed out. Unfortunately my bus was the last to arrive, and the only two activities with availability for our first day were water tubing (been there, done that) and laser tag (boooooring). So at the end of the day, I made sure I was near the front of the line to sign up for the final activity slot the following morning. I was going to get my name on that list no matter what, and I succeeded!
Despite not being the scaredy-cat I once was, I did have some butterflies that morning. After they announced we would go up the tower in pairs, my friend and I decided we would volunteer to go first and get the waiting overwith. Our plan worked, and before I knew it we were climbing seemingly endless stairs with everyone watching. She went first, and as I watched her go over the edge I got more and more excited. When it was my turn, I followed the staff’s advice to not look down and keep my eyes on the far hillside. Suddenly he said, “The rail’s not jumping with you love, so let go and go to it!” Honestly I hadn’t even realized I was still holding on! Once you get to this point, the staff starts a timer and you get 60 seconds to jump or chicken out. But then the guy yells out “THREE… TWO… ONE… BUNGEEEEEE!” And if you don’t jump after that you’ll just look silly. So I completed the moment and took my swan dive. I feel like Pocahontas jumping off the waterfall. That’s all I had time to think before the bungee caught and I was flung back upwards. I kept my eyes open the whole time and the world blurred past. The blue lake, the green and yellowish hills, the gray overcast sky. The rush is just indescribable. Once I stopped moving and they lowered me onto the net, I felt invincible. It’s a feeling I’ve never had before and haven’t felt since.