Yup. That's me. The orange blob dangling in the wind like a spider monkey.
You're probably wondering how I got here. And TBH so am I...
I used to say that NEVER would I EVER go bungee jumping. "You would have to be stupid to voluntarily spring yourself into oblivion and hang there by a string." 🤡🤡🤡🤡
I'm still not exactly sure what prompted me to go through with this, but I guess it's easy to misjudge a situation when it's only hypothetical. We visited Monteverde Extremo Park and I just couldn't pass up the opportunity. Believe me, I was soooo far out of my comfort zone - do you know how much gall it takes to do something after signing a waiver that tells you you could be risking your life??? The thing that kept me going was a pure mix of peer pressure and adrenaline...and the fact that I wouldn't get my $80 back if I tried to back out at the last minute.
When you get to the Park, they take your weight to determine what kind of equipment they'll use for your jump. The ropes are color-coded by weight class, so you get a wristband that corresponds.
Three by three, you take turns loading into the cable car and cruising into the sky. They put you in a harness and attach a stretchy rope to you so you can make the jump. Once you’re still at the bottom, they drop a second rope to you. You’ll have to grab it and attach it to yourself so they can pull you up.
There were quite a few people who went before me, so I was able to watch them from a nearby observation deck. They made it look so effortless. Fun. And when they returned down to us, they all raved about great it was and how badly they wanted to do it again.
I was reaallyy revving up. When it was finally my turn, I was READY. I got into the cable car overwhelmed with excitement...
...which all went OUT THE WINDOW when I had to stand there looking down into the mf wilderness knowing everyone was waiting for me to leap into it!!!!
So many thoughts were running through my head. What if the rope snaps??!!! What if this freaking cable car falls out of the sky??!! How high is this again!!!?! Is that a cow, omg there's COWS down there. What if I hit a tree?! WOW I CANNOT DO THIS!!!
And the fact that we were on a CABLE CAR of all things?! It finally occurred to me that I thought there would at least be a solid platform to jump from. But no. No foundation, just vibes.
I had to be the first of my trio to jump because I was the last of my weight class in our group overall; they’d have to change out the rope before the other two could take their turns.
My brain was working overtime trying to talk me out of it, but everything went quiet when I stepped to the edge of the cable car. The wind was so strong, I didn’t have time to rationalize anymore. I just remember thinking: “bitch, if you don’t take this jump yourself, the wind is gonna push you tf off!” When the attendants gave me the cue, I closed my eyes and took a dive into the sky.
Freefalling is a feeling words can only attempt to describe. Have you ever fallen in a dream at night? It’s like dropping from the top of a rollercoaster without ever hitting the low point at the end. You’re flying. The sensation of your heart racing becomes obsolete as you drift further into weightlessness. Your chest swells and empties all at the same time while time itself seems to freeze. If you scream it’s like the sound dissipates into an atmospheric vacuum.
…but that part only lasts about two seconds.
Suddenly after that, you’re swiftly plummeting downward. Consciousness rushes back in and it hits like a ton of bricks. I was looking down at the trees, the ground, the COWS - my stomach SANK. It’s like doing a front-facing trust fall but seeing that there’s not actually anyone there to catch you. And that recoil?!?!?! The buoyancy of the rope sprung me back into the sky like a slingshot. It felt like I was spinning out of control.
When I finally stopped bouncing and twirling and spiraling about I was just left there upside down staring into the below. I was swinging like a pendulum, blood rushing to my head as I contemplated my entire life. I just kept praying to stay alive, holding back tears and trying not to think about the time it was taking to get back to safety. I had an uncomfortable urge to vomit; I remember thinking about how I’d make sure not to get it all over my clothes and telling myself not to worry about whether or not anyone would see, “aim for the ground!!!”
Finally the recovery rope dropped down!! …But of course it was far out of my reach. I tried to stop myself from getting frantic as the staff tried again and again to throw it more closely to me. When I managed to get a hold of it, I was shaking so badly that I could barely clasp the hook onto my harness.
At once, I did it. But I was so terrified that I’d accidentally unlock the carabiner and unhook myself from the rope that I didn’t sit up and grab it like I was *apparently* supposed to. (Something more like below.)
...Hence: me lying out like a pancake while the poor staff people heave me back into the cable car. Apparently, they thought I'd passed out!
Eventually I made it back on LAND. SWEET SWEET LAND. Some girl asked me how it was and I promptly shook my head and told her, “I’m never doing that shit again.” She laughed and said it was such an “American” thing of me to say because everyone else (mostly European) was so positive about it all.
Girl, what??! IDGAF about none of that. This has nothing to do with me being American, that was T R A U M A. I’d just taken a dive, head first, into a freaking abyss, life versus death determined by some flimsy red rope! I mean, seriously!! How horrifying is it to feel like you’re seconds away from throwing up on yourself and impaling your spleen on a tree branch!!! And did I mention I was almost 500 feet up?!!?!
WOULD NOT RECOMMEND.
Or at least that’s how I felt in the moment.
Looking back at it, I am so proud that I followed through with the commitment I made to myself to try. The girl was at least right about the fact that many from our group were eager to return and do the jump once more. If you’re someone who likes thrill and adventure, bungee jumping may actually be something you enjoy. Don’t let my story stop you from having an experience of your own. Even if you’re scared, once you do something like this you feel like anything is possible. And it is!
The Park itself was amazing. Its scenery is so gorgeous, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a view as incredible as the one there in Monteverde. There are other activity options, too, if you’re not in the mood to be so extreme. I also went zip-lining and did a drop from a Tarzan swing and had a blast!
Onto the next adventure!