I must confess: I can be a diva at times. I know what I like, I’ll do what I want, and I wont let anyone stop me. I like being pampered and I don’t like over exerting myself. That is why adventure sports are not my cup of tea.
- I am NOT an adrenaline junkie
- I am scared of heights. I had a small panic attack climbing a ladder the other day
- I don’t like physical discomfort. Remember my ordeal with Tongariro Crossing?
- I don’t like going fast. It makes me a slow and inefficient skier. I spend most of my energy slowing myself down and am usually too tired to ski all day. Lets not even mention that my sprints are equivalent to most people’s jogs!
- I’m too afraid to get hit so I never played contact sports
Theres something about not having control and being at the risk of danger or pain that does not appeal to me. This is who I am, and I am accepting of it. I have other talents. Potential failures or discomfort wont stop me from at least trying things. I can deal relatively well with being outside of my comfort zone. This is something I am learning more and more about myself.
When coming to New Zealand, the adventure capital of the world, I knew I couldn’t leave without trying some stuff out. Jose and I talked about and budgeted for BUNGY JUMPING. New Zealand was the birthplace of modern Bungy, we had to save ourselves and muster the courage to do it here in Queenstown. We had NOT however planned to Sky Dive. The day of, we signed up and before we knew it, we were on a plane ready to roll (literally out of the plane).
I long since accepted that New Zealand would bring some moments of physical discomfort and mental challenges because I was going to do as much as I could muster (and afford). So in three weeks we:
- Black water rafted in dark caves and jumped BACKWARDS from waterfalls
- White water rafted and jumped off a cliff into the water
- Walked the Tongariro Crossing Hike (19km)
- Jumped into lakes (had a giant eel trailing along behind me)
- Sky-dive over Taupo Lake
- Kayaked the Tazman Sea and a glacier lake
- Paddle-boarded down a river and had a Paddle-board WAR
- Did the Nevis Bungy Jump : 8 seconds of free fall
Bungy nerves started to set in on the 45 minute drive to the Nevis site. Everyone was quiet on the big bus going up a steep hill. I am not even sure how it’s allowed because it was truly scary. I tried to play it cool though, stayed quiet and just waited. I kept thinking:
If I can jump out of an airplane, I can do this!
Its like diving into a pool….but with no water!
Everyone who does it Loves it!
That is right, I resorted to peer pressure on myself. Our host made me promise I would NOT do a wimpy leap. He explained the backlash I would have if I didn’t truly dive. The hand gestures helped drive the point home because I swore I would JUMP. Not only was I going to jump, I was going to Swan Dive!….In true Diva fashion. In my mind, I was getting the pictures and there was no way I could face the Facebook crowd with a wimpy leap. Thinking of this kept me focused and distracted from the nerves.
You know I am truly excited when my nose wrinkles!! It kept happening throughout the event. Things got real when we stepped onto the open cage gondola, with the cold air hitting my face, and the ability to lean over to see the ground made my heart skip a beat. What was I thinking? Lets recall that this is not my style. But here I was…
Just when I thought I was nervous, it gets MORE REAL when we step onto the platform with views to the valley below. I was kicking myself for not choosing the shorter jump where it lasted 2 seconds and you get dunked.
No, I just HAD to do the one 3 times higher. This is my Latina stubbornness I suppose. Well, let me just take more pictures, that will distract me…
I had an incentive NOT to chicken out. No refunds. There were some people on the platform before us so I assumed I had more time but I was wrong as I am totally surprised as my name is called out. What? It’s not my turn yet!! ….OH, but it is. So I sit on the dentist chair which I think is the scariest part. It is right next to the opening where you leap! I think this expression takes the cake…don’t you?
I sometimes do things with no hesitation but it’s because I want to get it over with as fast as possible. It applied to this scenario. I bent my legs, jumped, and extended to form my Diva Swan Dive!
As I fly through the air, eyes wide open, I scream but abruptly stop. I am not spending my energy screaming…instead I will enjoy my fall. Words cannot express what it is like to free fall. My brain cannot comprehend it because it is against all logic, I am not meant to be flying through the air. My brain wants me to be scared but I am not. My body was surprisingly relaxed and my hands outstretched reaching to…nowhere really.
After my second bounce, I attempt to release the strap to get upright, but fail. So I just “hang out”, because I wont spend the last few seconds of my valley suspension distracted. How often in life will I get to do this? Who, knows…so best enjoy it. There I am, getting retracted like a yo-yo, back onto the platform.
Not going to lie, this was a bit scary. Soon enough, I am upright- safe and sound. I am Ecstatic! I jumped it and I loved it. I do a happy dance in joy, celebrating my triumph. Jose is smiling ear to ear. He’s up soon!
So I did the Nevis, the “Go Big or Go Home” jump. Well, to me, it was a matter of Go Big before Going Home.
Here is the grand finale….the video of our jumps. It is a combination of our gopro and the video we purchased from the AJ Hackett media store.