Icy cold wind in my hair, the north sea underneath and the instructor says ‘now it’s time
Icy cold wind in my hair, the north sea underneath and the instructor says ‘now it’s timeto fall backwards’. I followed up with the most natural reaction – wide eyes and mouthing a certain phrase which is best not mentioned here.
I’d dreamt of bunjee jumping all my life. Definitely among the top three on my bucket list, I’d cherished the thought of this adventurous jump since my early teens. I came across the adventure sport in Netherlands and obviously, couldn’t pass up on the opportunity within reach.
At the edge of the pier on Den Haag beach, stood a tower with the North Sea in the expanse in front and a possible ‘plummet to my death’. I went up the pier, spoke to the owners of the operation and cleared all dues. The excitement kicked in when I was being strapped into all the gear. The experience of it all felt closer than ever and it was a reality check.
I entered a cage like structure with one side open. There were others with me, equally excited and anxious, as we were lifted upwards. Once the cage was set in the right direction according to the wind, anxiety steeped in. The man told me to jump backwards once the preparations were made and the anxiety immediately turned to panic. I froze and to make matter worse, looked down towards the metal mesh under my feet. Bad idea. The space below made me realise exactly how high up I was and the anxiety turned into sheer panic. The low temperatures, the strong wind and the fact that I had to jump played havoc in my mind. It was a tug of war – a lifelong dream against the fear of the sport.
Once the voices in my head got too loud, I decided to let go. I closed my eyes and fell backwards. It was as if falling into a fluffy bed. Within a millisecond of the wind engulfing me I felt a thud against my head and an initial tug at my feet. I opened my eyes and saw the world beneath upside down. The different shades of blue all around made me feel alive. After swinging around and feeling like a pendulum, the fresh North Sea air impacted me deeper than I could have imagined. The horizon seemed far far away and the shades of blue conjoined somewhere making the world seem like a simpler place.
I was then pulled downwards towards the ground and soon the gear was taken off. It felt strange to stand on land as the experience of swinging in the air was so vividly ingrained in memory. A lifelong dream had been fulfilled.