"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible." ~ T. E. Lawrence
Reminiscing on a past adventure and wanted to share the tale:
There it was spanning the gorge ahead of us, a narrow metal bridge. Through the grating we could see a rushing river far below and in that moment my heart dropped into my stomach. Surely everyone could hear the blood that pounded in my ears. My breath caught in my chest and I reached out for the railing because I might just need the support. DJ, my 16-year-old brother, was right behind me and one glance at his face told the same story – we were scared.
A guide walked up and directed us to a little log hut on the other side of the bridge where we would purchase our passes to jump. As we stood in line we hardly talked, only watched as one by one, other jumpers plunged over the side of the bridge. Some of them screamed, others howled with a mix of joy and fright. But watching them seemed to calm both of us until we could nervously talk about the crazy stunt we were about to do.
Soon DJ was being harnessed up, his ankles wrapped with a cuff. And they counted down. He gave a final glance at me, and then he was gone! He dropped into an elegant swan dive. Free-falling for 160 feet until finally the bungee cord stretched and gently bounced him back and forth. The perfect bungee jump.
It was my turn. My hands were clammy but each step was focused and steady now. The adrenaline was pumping hard but it had nearly done away with the sense of dread. DJ had done it and now he was up on the bridge safely again. I wouldn’t cop out on him. Besides, I’d wanted to do this for years!
They harnessed me by my chest and the instructor suggested that I do a front flip off the bridge. I started to giggle, maybe it was adrenaline, but I was nervous and giddy. The river below churned foamy white with green and they started the count down. 3…2…1… GO! My stomach felt as though it had moved into my chest. My feet went over my head and then it was just falling. Was it a minute? No, maybe only a few seconds. Time slowed and all I knew was weightlessness. And all I heard was my own laughter. The slack in the bungee cord went tight and then it was more like being on a swing, bouncing to and fro, back and forth easily. Finally, the sounds of the rushing river assailed my ears. I still giggled uncontrollably. Even when they pulled me back up to the bridge, I was chuckling. DJ and I threw our arms over each others shoulders and walked back across the bridge laughing even harder.
If everyone jumped off of a bridge, so would I! It was an awesome and unforgettable experience.
** I entered one of my bungee jump pictures in an Adventure Photo Contest last week and made it to the list of finalists. There are some really awesome photos on there, check them out and cast your vote!