This last sunday I bungy jumped off the dam in Verzasca. This jump is 220m and was made famous in the film James Bond 007 Golden Eye. The clip from the movie is here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSvuHSqqGSw&feature=related
You might say, Bungy jumping, no big deal… But if you know me, I have never been on those rides at the amusement park that do sudden drops or anything that have any sort of drops. This was literally a big jump for me. I spent two weeks thinking it over and decided to go for it.
Fear is a funny thing. It keeps you alive but it also holds you back from reaching your potential. I would have never imagined myself jumping off and free falling into nothingness for 220m. Once I was on the platform, I knew I couldn’t look down till I was off the platform. I said a quick prayer, something along the line of “dear God, I don’t want to die, please keep me safe.” When the guy was counting down, and I was on the edge, I was wondering if I was gonna chicken out. I planned to jump out and look graceful, but when the count was over and the guy yelled jumped, I had to throw myself over the platform. It beats all logical, mental and physical control cause everything is telling you there is nothing in front of you and you shouldn’t jump. I yelled “sorry mom and dad” because I knew my friends were filming and my parents weren’t a fan of the idea of their son jumping off a dam. Against their concerns, I still decided to do it but felt it would be funny to show them the video with me saying that before jumping. After the first second and a half and freaking out after realizing that I was free falling, I straighten outed, head first (more or less) and it was the most ridiculous feeling ever. It’s like flying down towards the ground. No limits, nothing holding you back. No regrets. after the first rebound came a second free fall and at that point, that fall felt like it was nothing. I started enjoying the view that was around me. I was hanging on by a bungee cord and a safety harness and I am swinging by a dam and looking out into the valley. It was gorgeous.
In the afternoon, we got the chance to go canyoning. We tossed on our wetsuit, helmet, shoes and harness and headed out.What is canyoning you might ask? It involves hiking, swimming, abseiling, jumping off things, sliding down things in nature. Essentially its playing in God’s natural playground of waterfall and water areas. I can swim enough not to drown but I don’t swim for fun. I had to ask myself a few times, “what the heck are you doing?!” But after bungee jumping, a few meter high jump into water didn’t seem so bad. I still hesitated a few times though. There are rocks and stuff you have to clear when jumping off the edge but it was a very sweet day. The valley was beautiful and it was just a wonderful experience to witness and enjoy the beautiful creation that God had made. Literally the best playground in the world is the one designed by the ultimate designer.
So at the end of the day, I realized I had faced two of the biggest fears that I have. Fear of the feeling of free falling and of jumping into water. You might wonder, why I would put myself through all this.
If you know me, I’m usually a very conservative guy. I like things ordered and in control and am not very spontaneous and don’t usually do crazy stuff. In a way I’m very predictable. I realize with the last three months that I have been here in Switzerland, I am learning more and more about myself and I decided this might be the best opportunity to push myself to do something outside of my comfort zone. It was a big symbolic jump for me. To let go of what is common sense to me (that there is nothing in front of me and that I am about to jump into nothingness) to take a leap of faith to trust God will take care of me. It is an unreal feeling to let go of everything and just live in the moment of falling. I am by no means a dare-devil or an extreme adventure seeker but deciding to go bungy jumping and canyoning was a wonderful way to face my fears head on and to learn from it.