Page 42 - CemAir SkyNews 02/15-03/15
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Roger was one of these uber keen, unnecessarily over confident,        are just left there in complete silence, terrified that your feet are go-
annoying individuals who would invariably have done anything you       ing to slip out of the ankle straps, for what seems like an eternity.
had done but ten times bigger and ten times better. We’ve all had
a Roger in our lives, and I had one standing next to me eager-         And then, out of the silence, came the most comforting words
ly jumping up and down with his hand in the air like an excited        I had ever heard “How’s it hanging big man”. It was my rescuer,
schoolboy who had the answer in class – in this instance the           Wayne, who was as calm and collected as they came. I think I
question from the teacher was “Has anyone one done a bungy             told him I loved him. And in that moment I did. Hell, in that moment
jump before?”                                                          even Roger was going to get a hug if we made it back up safely.

“This is my 7th jump sir,” came the immediate reply accompanied        And we did… and Roger got his hug. I was on top of my world.
by instant stares from the others in the group looking for some        Truly euphoric. Unbeatable. Brilliant. I’m trying but words cannot
kind of acknowledgement. No such luck Roger, we are in our own         describe that feeling. The sense of personal accomplishment, that
worlds here china.                                                     I had done something so far out of my comfort zone, that I had
                                                                       committed and delivered on a promise to myself, all these things
We had our briefing from Leon, and made our way down the long          and more, at that moment, were passing through me at once to
walk way under the bridge. Now, that is enough of an extreme           create another new feeling that I hadn’t reached before – extreme
adventure in itself as the owners of this ‘experience’ had kindly      pride. Maybe, dare I say, a true connection to the inner ‘me’. And
used a synthetic, almost plastic material to walk on which gives a     I loved it.
little as you take each step, and has enough small holes in it for an
amazing view to the bottom of the ravine, the one you are about to     The returning heroes
leap into. I stayed focused and kept my composure, chatting with
Leon about this 100% safety record the website proudly announc-        The buzz continued all the way back to the rendezvous site where
es – I just wanted to make sure that this hadn’t been rounded          my family were waiting. It’s funny how you can do the same walk
up, and that it was truly 100%. His reassurances didn’t quell my       twice in the space of 45 minutes and have a polar different feeling
nerves nor doubt, but we were here now, at the platform, music         each time. As I turned the corner, my girls running to me for a hug,
pumping and adrenaline permeating. You could smell, see and            I felt like a retuning war hero. The warmth, pride and relief I got
feel it.                                                               from each cuddle was incredible. In that moment, everything was
                                                                       incredible. I even thought about exchanging phone numbers with
We lined up whilst our names were called out to enter the jumping      my new best mate Roger.
area, I saw Roger doing various stretches and warm ups out
of the corner of my eye. Obviously a perquisite ritual for the Pro     On the drive back to Plett, that adrenaline that had been my
Jumper, I thought.                                                     companion for so long started to flow out of my system and by
                                                                       the time we reached home, I was exhausted. Finished, but very
Mine was jump 14 out of 17, so I had the opportunity to dwell on       fulfilled. That’s what fulfilment is!
my nerves and terror whilst the majority of my companions were
able to get their jumps done and dusted. I was feeling everyone’s      A few weeks after the event and as I write this, not a huge amount
nerves as they hopped the plank to the edge of the jump, helped        of noticeable change has occurred around me; everything still
by Leon who, in my mind, had now taken on the role of execution-       looks and sounds the same, life’s problems are still there, but
er. 5-4-3-2-1 BUNGY and then they were gone….                          something has definitely stirred inside of me, something important
                                                                       that wasn’t there before.
My turn was fast approaching, and I knew it. I am no dancer, I’ll be
the first to admit. In fact my self-consciousness about dancing at     And to anyone out there who feels stuck, doing the same things
functions would ensure that I would stay well away from the dance      over and over again, in a rut - do something different, do some-
floor. But for some inexplicable reason, as my date with destiny       thing insane – it’s the only way you can break the shackles of
came forth, I found myself having a little boogie to the sounds that   insanity!!
were blaring out of the onsite DJ box. Surreal.

‘Andy Sullivan, you’re next’ – oh bugger (although the language
was a bit stronger). Here we go big fella. The moment that I had
played over and over in my mind for an entire month had arrived,
and it was nothing like I had projected. This was a feeling that I
hadn’t ever come across as Leon strapped my ankles. This was a
combined, extreme fear and excitement that I never knew existed.
Leon was trying to offer me some calming words, but I wasn’t
listening. With each hop that extreme fear and excitement became
even more intense. And then the countdown. And then off.

It’s a three to five second freefall, where you reach a speed of       Pre-jump giggle with Leon...
120km/h and during that time you really don’t see anything at all
such is the velocity of the drop. After a few yo-yo’s on the bungy,
you eventually settle, hung upside down, waiting for the little man
to come down and rescue you. That was probably the most un-
pleasant part of this whole incredible experience because after all
the noise and comfort of others around you on the platform, you

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