Monday, July 15, 2013

Kids: Don´t try this at home.

I would like to believe that fear is a result of a social construction. It's created by the humans just the same way as honour and pride- without serving any purpose in most situations. However- my common sense says it is not.
We are not meant to fly.
We are not meant to jump off a cliff, bridge or a cable car between two mountains in my case.
It’s definitely not common and therefore fear is more than natural to be terrified in those situations. Especially, when you yourself have signed up to experience it. It makes me wonder now what has gone wrong that some people feel the need for a thrill that comes with having your legs tied together and throwing oneself out there to be freaked out. What is so special about being terrified and feeling the adrenaline rush through one’s body? I don’t have the answer, but I got to experience the thrill that so many others had looked for before me.
The bus drive to Extremo canopy & bungee was quite nerve-racking. My usual nervous laughter and singing started to take over as others also unconsciously used their own methods to calm down. Who was switching the ventilation on and off, who was playing with their hair. It didn’t work. The shallow chat that accompanied us the whole way did not calm anyone. I started to think that it is not me who is nervous. The nervousness is just created by those great stories of how dangerous bungee jumping is (it is indeed called extreme sport for a reason) and just seeing everyone else freak out around me made me hesitate just slightly. The fear created isn’t real, it is just artificially created by playing with the surroundings. The place is very well checked, the equipment is checked and the instructors are experienced. There is no real reason to not do this.
What brought me back to earth was signing the contract “ yes, as this being my third week as a eighteen old, I’m aware of the risks and take full responsibility in case of injury that may also be fatal” After signing this I got weighed and the number indicating my weight is still proudly standing on my left hand.
The procedure sounded very safe, I was supposed to go with the girls whose weights were similar to me and suddenly I was already tied up and stepping to the cable car. A little while later the instructor told me to step out and wait for the next one as they were taking just three at a time. I was relieved. Simply relieved – I felt to need to see a few people do it before to reassure myself that I’m supposed to be able to do this as well. It seemed like a few minutes and they had already finished their jump. Some hanging there a bit longer to grab the rope. That looked great! Others next to me were terrified, but I was jumping up and down because of the excitement. “wuhuuuu I’m going to get to do this as well!!” They came back with no comments. Not very cheery faces.  Well it seemed like a lot of fun for me. Meanwhile there were two blue harnesses being tightly attached to my legs by another instructor. I had read that bruises are the most common injury from bungee jumping, so I wore my black jeans as advised, which was a challenge on its own on this hot day. I was supposed to go first.
Sitting on the very left and giving my best last smile to the camera before the cable car between four wires started to shake towards the middle of the mountains. By “shake” I mean a shaky movement – that is how it was moving. Reaching our destination in the middle of the two mountains – my fear made a re-appearance The tallest and longest bungee jump in Latin-America. 143 metres high. “ So what happens if I faint there?” I was starting to feel a bit nauseous. I got a satisfactory answer that I will be saved. What a relief, right? Not for a person who’s about to jump with a freaking rope tied to their legs. They attached a camera to my helmet and being a bit confused of what exactly to say or which language to use, I greeted everyone in English and Estonian.
Kids don’t try this at home.
Everything was double-checked and I was supposed to go to the side and grab the metal bars.  I knew I should not think and I had just enough time to tell myself “ok, no thinking and no looking down”. I had just grabbed the metal bars when the rapid “ five four three two one! JUMP!” echoed in my ears and I just jumped at one. Apparently with my feet first as I was later told.
I screamed.
The blood pumping through my body, carrying adrenaline and resulting in a huge thrilling scream. I couldn’t see, think. I couldn’t hear. Suddenly the rope pulled me up for another bounce. Just wow. I started laughing and talking Estonian. Then English. Mixed with a little bit of Spanish. I admired the view and found it so relieving. All the adrenaline was released and all I was left with was pure happiness. Pura Vida. Pure life – as they so often say in Costa Rica. It seemed forever that I got to admire the river and look at the mountains. I then noticed the rope that was sent down for me to attach. I grabbed it but the metal “thingy” was still far, so I had nothing to do with the rope. Now my heart was pumping fasted again as I was twirling around the rope. I couldn't find the balance, I had enjoyed the bouncing after the jump but not his. Though, if I think about it I’ve had a little bit of practise with things that make you dizzy, like Tivoli in Tallinn with its rusty attractions. Finally, after a bit of abs exercises, the metal “thingy” was attached to my body. A few more of “ woaaaah, it’s such a beautiful view. So so pretty” and I was reaching for the platform.
The relief, the happiness, the heartrate still faster than usual and the want to do it again- all emotions rushing over me.
Hearing the others swear and scream and do their jump after me was very calm. Obviously only for me. By the way I’m very proud that I didn’t swear! It was now even more interesting to watch how people calmed themselves down – breathing deeply, closing their eyes, swearing. Taking them out of the context and you would think that It’s a mental hospital. Me- being so relieved, enjoying the view and talking about the jump.
Afterwards I was exhausted- I jumped around for a while and then we headed to the view platform to watch others do the thrilling jump. Enjoying the sun(yes, I indeed got sunburnt once again) and watching 10 more people do the jump was incredible. Incredible, until suddenly one of the jumpers seemed to have grabbed her knees and could not get back up. I didn't notice it until somebody pointed it out. About 7 minutes after the start of her jump and instructor went down to get her. She was then pulled up safely with a great shock and a video of this experience. We were later shown this video and we could clearly see what happened. The rope that was sent down to the jumper to attach in order to get back up, got twisted around her ankles and arm. This was only because she kept twisting it when it was already around her ankle and grabbed the rope too early. Luckily, everything ended well though it first looked very dangerous (obviously, a person hanging with just a piece of rope attached to their legs) it was clear that the situation didn't have any huge potential danger.

Otherwise, I would definitely recommend this to everyone who have given it a longer thought. Choose a spot with a beautiful view and enjoy it. It will be more than worth it.

Here is the video : 

and photos : 

Getting ready ;) 

                                                                        And there I am. ;)


The colours are a bit off, as it´s done with the sports mode. 

Coming back ;) 

The sincere happiness :D 

The beautiful-beautiful view. ( niiii ilus, niii ilus)

Here you can see the height of it : 

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