Bungee Jumping: Before, During And After
I went bungee jumping in Baños two days ago. Here’s what I was feeling before, during, and after.
The Hours Before Walking To The Bridge
Waves Of Nausea
I wrote down that I simply felt “like s**t.” I just wanted to get it over with. I didn’t think I was going to throw up, but I felt sick.
Mind And Body Were Jittery
I was very ‘jumpy’, both my mind and my body. I couldn’t focus on work. I tried to do some ‘product research’ (ecommerce work that I do every day) but I worked as if I was looking through a pair of thick colored glasses. I could see what I was doing, but it was like looking through a peephole. The majority of my focus was elsewhere.
My legs were jumpy. I felt very light, like I wasn’t ‘planted’. I was ready to jump at any small, unexpected noise.
Talking To Myself
I was talking to myself a lot about the jump, loud enough that a housemate even brought it up. “You talk to yourself a lot.”
Waves Of Feeling
I had flashes of tension, where it would suddenly ‘hit me’ that I was about to jump off a bridge. For split seconds, it would be overwhelming, the feeling flooding all over. I squeezed my eyes shut and grit my teeth. Then it would pass.
Some of these waves were accompanied by an internal voice “DO IT!” as if I was on the bridge and able to jump. That would have been the moment when I would have (should have) jumped. In those moments, I wanted to sprint to the bridge, strap on the gear and get it over with!
This was an ‘energy-intensive’ state and when it passed I felt an energy crash. I felt like curling up, falling asleep, not moving, not jumping… not doing anything.
At 1:30PM I left the house with my housemate. He was there to make sure I really jumped.
During The Jump
Once we got to the bridge…
I didn’t think about much. It was easiest to just go through the motions, and keep the stress and fear out of my mind.
What do you do if you sign up for an intense group workout class at a gym? You’re prepared to shut out your thoughts and just ‘do’ the workout when you show up at the gym.
When the man said “3, 2, 1…” I just looked to the sky and leapt forward. Not thinking, just shouting.
In The Air
I don’t remember the initial fall, just like when I went Skydiving and forgot we did a flip coming out of the airplane. The first memory after the jump was the physical tug of my chest strap pulling me into a swing.
Swinging In The Air
It was over in a second. I was safely swinging under the bridge. I felt like shouting. It was already over. I slowly descended to the earth below.
The Hours After The Jump
The Tension WAS gone
I felt like I just finished a massive assignment, a really hard workout, or a sales call that ended in a ‘yes’. The day’s responsibility was completed. I was relaxed, eating lungh (purposefully not drinking more coffee) and enjoying the food as it was.
I Didn’t Give Into Fear…
… and I knew it. Everyone who saw knew it. It was clear. I jumped on the first countdown. My nausea, fright, or jittery-ness didn’t keep my feet glued to the platform. I was satisfied knowing that at least for today, I was in control.
And The BIG Surprise… The ‘Meh’ Factor
Before doing something, it’s an impossible task. It’s a big deal. It’s going to be hard, and maybe too hard.
But once you complete it, whatever ‘it’ is, it’s followed by the feeling “Meh, whatever.” You realize that it’s not that crazy or incredible. You just did it, and now it’s ‘Meh’.
Self-Imposed Stress? Why?
I was very stressed out and unfocused before jumping. My decision that ‘I had to jump’ was the only thing leading to that stress. I didn’t need to do it if I didn’t want to, yet I put myself into a shaking, jittery, nauseous, exhausted mental state.
It doesn’t make sense.
Why would a human put himself into this state?
Why did I enter this state when I knew it was safe?
Is there a way to eliminate these feelings by either accepting non-action OR calmly accepting the facts of taking action? Must we ‘numb’ ourselves by repetitive action in spite of these emotions?
I’d forgotten the ‘Meh’ factor. It seems like no matter what I do, I always think “Meh, whatever…” afterwards.
I’m reminded again that I shouldn’t expect much more than ‘Meh’, even when I reach goals that I’ve been focusing on for months or years. Work as hard as you can, jump when you’re afraid, brainstorm the best solutions possible, but accept that after everything you may only be left with a feeling of ‘Meh’.
When I saw the bridge I knew I needed to jump.