Monday, January 09, 2012

Making The Jump

Picture this: an amphitheater of solid limestone surrounding the most beautiful body of water you’ve ever seen. A deep-blue spring-fed lagoon that is so clean and clear that you can’t help but want to dive right in. It’s early in the morning, the heat off the sun wraps your whole body with warmth and all you can feel is the adrenaline rushing.
Why, you ask?
Because 200ft above this breathtaking view, you’re getting ready to jump.

Located just 20 minutes from downtown Ottawa is “The Rock”, home to The Great Canadian Bungee. At 200ft, it is the highest jump in Canada, the rebound of the jump in itself is higher than all other sites located across the land - and if you’re an adrenaline-junkie like me, it will definitely suffice.

Last fall, my boyfriend and I decided to take the journey up to Ottawa to give this jump a try… I’m known for being quite impulsive and after we tried the Xtreme Skyflyer at Canada’s Wonderland, I blurted out, “Let’s go bungee jumping for real!” and couldn’t really go back on my word.

I can say from experience that saying 200ft and seeing 200ft are two very different things; while driving around looking for The Great Canadian Bungee, we kept searching and repeating to each other, “It has to be close, right? We’d see it from the road, wouldn’t we?” As we looked to our right, there was a cliff with a massive crane attached to it… needless to say, we really didn’t have to look around so intently.

After signing your life away, all there is to do is wait for your turn. There are benches and picnic tables nearby for people to enjoy while watching people as they throw themselves off the crane. The anticipation kills you.
Once it’s your time to go (at last!), you’re sent up to the top in groups of 8…and as you walk up the steep hill (I guess mountain would be a more accurate term), you know there’s only one way down.

All I could think to myself was “Maybe we shouldn’t have watched all those 'bungee jumping gone wrong' youtube videos.”
Based on your weight, you’re put in jumping order, “Thank god, I’m third, I still have a little time” as I slowly peak over the edge of the crane into the lagoon that seemed so beautiful (and not scary at all) before.

At the last moment, I’m switched to go first. (FIRST!) My heart starts beating faster and faster…the walk from one end to the other seems like miles long. It’s just me, the crane, and a single elastic cord (and a whole lot of distance between me and that water…were they sure it wasn’t actually 400ft?)
I put my toes over the edge of the crane and out of nowhere I’ve developed a superhuman death-grip and there’s no way I’m jumping off. Who’s idea was this? Oh, right... mine.

3…2…1 – I scream. I can’t do it. I look over to see the 7 other people waiting in line, my boyfriend included. All of them yelling my name to jump.
3…2…1 – I dive. My body feels like it’s going the speed-of-light as it approaches the water - that feeling when you’re on a rollercoaster where your stomach feels like it’s in your throat is increased ten-fold - my hands then dip into the cool, crisp water, and I’m thrown back into the air another 160ft. I feel as though I’m gliding through the air and all I can see is the most spectacular view as I’m surrounded by nature and pure beauty.

What started as utter fear had developed into sheer ecstasy, my heart felt like it could have exploded out of my chest. Call me crazy, but this was the most exhilarating experience I've ever had...and although it seems terrifying, life is all about facing your fears, right?

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