Today was a very interesting day! Ever since the boy’s bungee adventure last week, my mom has been considering going. I tried to talk my mom out of it, because if she went then I would feel enormous pressure to go. The night before they had decided that she was going with an open slot for either me or Peter. When I went to bed that night all that was going through my head was "I am going to do this!" The next morning I had decided that I wouldn't go, wait no I would, wait no I won’t, which lasted all morning. The morning started early to get ready for the trail ride I had booked a few days ago. Everyone was really nervous except for me. When we got there we saw many beautiful appaloosas waiting in a line.
The horses had very cool names like Dawn, Arizona, and Prickles. We got our helmets on and waited for her to get the horses picked out for the rider.
My horse was named Frosty, and she was a big eater. At every opportunity she would stop and eat grass, which was against the rules. Our 2-hour trek was very pretty; the horses were very well behaved, and I enjoyed seeing all the sheep in the fields. Frosty had a bit of a stubborn streak and would not always listen to me.
I was able to forget about was going to happen that afternoon while we were riding, but once we stopped for photos, it hit me and I started to freak out! What made me relax was that fact that we had a long time until the jump. The plan was to go home, eat lunch and then we would go bungee jumping (or so I thought.) We got back to the stables, thanked the people, and went on our way. We drove for a little bit, then my dad asked the family, “left for bungee jumping or right for home?”. I immediately take out my ear bud to listen. After hesitating for half a second, my mom says “left”. It turned out that I was wrong and we were bungee jumping now. I freaked out; I mean who wouldn’t, your about jump off a bridge and the only thing that is keeping you from plunging into the cold water to your death are little rubber bands. At the time I was listening to a pump up song so I stupidly said, “Okay, let’s do a tandem jump.” My mom and Peter turned to look at me with an expression like I had just said that I have 45 billion dollars in the bank and they could have it, and then they started giving me high-fives and saying good job and wow! I just wanted to listen to my music. I was pretty calm until the bridge came into view. I took deep breaths and felt better until Peter patted me on the back to say good luck. I know he was trying to help, but all I heard was “ha ha you’re going to die!!”
Checking in and getting ready was hard; my hands were shaking so badly I had trouble taking my necklace off. Part of checking in is getting a jump number written on your hand, and when the woman grabbed my hand and declared me no. 56, I knew there was no turning back. We said goodbye to the boys for what I thought would be the last time.
We walked onto the bridge and I freaked out again, because we were the only ones in line...where were the other 55 people?? We quickly made our way down to the platform to get harness on by a very nice man who really tried to calm my nerves. Usually when I am nervous or I’m fighting my fears I get mad, like REALLY mad, but this time I was calm! I usually get very nervous about talking to new people, but this time I was talking more than my shaking mom next to me. I tried to give her a hug and reassure her but that didn't seem to be helping because you could tell she was still nervous. My body was screaming “DON’T. DO. IT”, but what kept me up there was the fact that all of my friends had told be that they would kill to have the experience of bungee jumping. I didn’t want to leave Queenstown full of regrets; I wanted to leave Queenstown with a free tee shirt. “Alright you guys are ready” the funny man said, but all I kept thinking was “NO, we aren’t... I think you missed a strap, or a hundred.” I was seriously considering taking off some of the straps, but facing my fears I walked (more like hopped) over to the platform my mom’s approach was to not look down, but my approach was, well to be honest I didn’t have an approach but I did look down.
They tell you to look at the cameras and smile and wave my eyes were pleading for help. After the camera waving, my mom said, “okay 1..” , but the guy stopped her and told her to wait, and then he said “alright it’s your time to shine!” All I was thinking of was the song they were playing in the background, which was “Stand By Me”, then he said “1….2….3” The feeling is indescribable! My legs just took over and jumped! I told my mom when the boys were jumping that if I was to do this I would want to be graceful and do a swan dive or something, but when I actually did do it it wasn’t like that at all. I jumped when you are supposed to dive which made it 100% harder for us. It got my stomach so badly and I couldn’t even open my eyes! Then you feel the blood rush to your head. The worst feeling for me was the beginning, because you feel like there is no way that the rope will catch you. Then after we were untied we went to go get our free t-shirts. My mom and I bought cute matching t-shirts, too. When we finally left you could feel so much adrenaline surging through your whole body, and then we got tired. When we got home we ate lunch and decided it was time to take a much needed nap. Then we went out to dinner at The Find. We sat down and met the very nice waitress from Georgia. We had amazing food and then went home and watched a new episode of Elementary.
Mama’s/ Stacies POV
I don’t remember much about the drive to the bungee bridge other than the moment Pete asked if he should take a left (bungee) or right (home). At that point I was committed to jumping so telling him to go left was instinctual. Lea on the other hand was venomous in the backseat, and her rage was palpable. After a few minutes, she calmed down and announced to us that she was going to jump with me, and then I started to panic! I started worrying about her...the what if’s started coming...what if she starts yelling at me up there?....what if she passes out?..what if she has a horrible experience and the whole thing backfires??
Fast forward to our minutes prior to jump: she was the brave one; chatting with the boys on the bridge and I couldn’t even speak! I couldn’t stop my legs from shaking! I kept thinking that no matter what, I had to jump...no hesitating. If I hesitated things would not happen. This comes from a cliff jumping experience where it took me 20 minutes to jump 30 feet. The boys were so annoyed, so I knew I COULD NOT hesitate. And we didn’t!
It was not like I’d pictured though. In my mind, our tandem jump was a beautiful swan dive, with each of us having one arm out and the other around the other’s back; eyes wide open, taking it all in (right way). Our jump...stepped off the ledge with a slight push from our bungee guide, all arms clutching the other body (actually Lea’s right hand had a firm grip on my hair), and our eyes sealed! Everyone watching yelled out, “OHH!”.
I finally opened my eyes when I felt the pull of the bungee. All the awesome views were...upside down, beautiful, but upside down. Obviously that was suppose to be the best part! But what turned out being the best part was hearing Lea say she felt empowered! And I felt empowered! LEA jumped 140 feet. This is the girl that wanted nothing to do with jumping off a ledge over 10’ on the river last year! I’m so proud! They say once you bungee off the bridge there’s nothing you can’t do, and I believe it! We’ve proved that we can do ANYTHING!