I went to New Zealand for an adventure of a lifetime, and although picking macadamia nuts with a hippie was pretty adventurous, I was ready to do something really crazy. Since the Auckland Bridge was just a few minutes away from my hostel, I decided that jumping off of a bridge would be the right way to officially begin the craziest trip of my life.
Although I felt confident that I could survive the 132 foot fall from the bridge into the water, I decided to let the people of AJ Hackett tie some rubber bands to my ankles, just as a precaution. The hike up the bridge to the bungy platform provided an amazing view of Auckland and Waitemata (Auckland) harbor. I really appreciated the view as we climbed the bridge because it helped me forget that I was about to do something stupid.
When I got to the jumping area, I received the thrilling news that I was jumping last. I was excited because this meant I got to witness the horror and panic in people’s eyes and the paleness of their faces. While I waited, these images made me second guess my sanity (I probably should have known something was wrong with me way before this)!
At long last, my turn had arrived. They strapped my ankles to the bungy cord and told me to walk to the edge of the platform. I quickly realized why people had been so scared as I attempted to waddle my way to the edge of the narrow platform without falling off one of the sides. Once I finally made it to the end, I made the mistake of looking down. I’m usually not afraid of heights, but knowing that I was about to fall 133 feet made my stomach drop. I could immediately feel the blood leave my face as I transformed into a pale faced, panic eyed little boy. When the countdown began, I was determined to jump, but at 3, one of the guys yelled “DON’T JUMP!” I was surprised that I didn’t jump (or fall) when he yelled at me. They told me that there was a sailboat race going on and that boats were now going under the bridge! To reassure me, one of the guys said, “We’ll have to time your jump just right, so be ready to jump.” Hearing this, all the determination to jump left. There would be no surviving a face full of boat. I stood on the edge of the platform forever, and then I heard the scariest words of my life (besides what do you think about marriage?) “Ready! 3,2,1, jump!” My heart was beating so fast and a million thoughts were flying through my head, mostly “don’t do it,” but like an idiot, when I heard “jump,” I jumped.
The feeling of falling was incredible. I couldn’t breath for the first 70 feet, but after that I was laughing and screaming (probably like a little girl)…until I hit the water. Surprisingly, it didn’t hurt to hit the water, in fact, it was a lot of fun. I went underwater to my waist line and then was immediately whipped back up. After bouncing around for a while, they began pulling me up. When I was about halfway up the machine stopped working. I wasn’t in a big hurry especially when they had told me before I jumped that there was a fleet of sailboats looking to hit anyone dangling from a bridge. My confidence about the whole situation was restored when I say them hitting the machine with brooms. I could see the rope slipping from the pulley and dropping me right on top of a sailboat (at least I would die in style). After a few good whacks, the pulley began dragging me up to the top. What a way to begin my adventurous trip!