Friday, November 28, 2008

Jumping off a Bridge

During those awful months when Rick was studying for and taking his CPA exams, I received a few "I'm jumping off a bridge" threats. In fact, I still have one saved on the answering machine, just for good old times. I know when someone jokes about suicide, your supposed to take them pretty serious. I just couldn't. Usually it just made me chuckle and I'd try to have an extra yummy dessert that night. Now that I've experienced jumping off a bridge myself, I'm even less worried than I was before. I had no idea it would be so hard.
My decision to jump off this bridge, connecting Zambia to Zimbabwe, had nothing to do with depression. In fact, I was happily touring around a very beautiful part of Africa, Victoria Falls. This is one of the seven natural wonders of the world. It's amazing!
I had just been on a safari and seen all sorts of beautiful animals.
And best of all, I was days away from being home with my family again. Things were good. So why jump off a bridge? Peer pressure, of course. And the fact that I like to say I've done things. Makes me feel cool. I wanted to be able to say I had bungee jumped. That's all it took and $100 later I was looking over the bridge of one of the highest bungee jumps in the world. And that's when fear set in.
For the next 30 minutes I sat in agony as I tried to talk myself into jumping off a bridge. I was absolutely sick to my stomach, thought I might throw up, and my hands and feet were sweaty. I couldn't talk to anyone and I'm sure my face was sickly white. I tried desperately to talk myself out of it but peer pressure was stronger than my inner voice telling me not to jump off a bridge. Plus, I had already paid my money. Getting my moneys worth was more important than the safety of my life. What is wrong with me?!

As they strapped up my feet, I looked down through the grate to the river below and just about lost it. It didn't really help that the funny Zambia men who were helping me out promised I could shoot them if I died. Not much of a promise there. But everyone was looking, there was no way out by this point and so, against all reason, I jumped off a bridge. Every time I watch the video my stomach drops and I almost scream.

I ended up loving the jump and best of all, for the rest of my life, I can say I bungee jumped!
The remainder of the day was spent loving monkeys, until I got bit, and then being terrified of them.

And sitting on a veranda watching one of the most beautiful sunsets I've ever seen. I look forward to going back someday (in the very distant future) and next time I won't even have to jump of a bridge.


Rachel said...

WOW! I am impressed-- I think. LOL! You are a braver woman than I am!

Dave Raddatz said...

WOW!! That makes me sick to my stomach. I know for a fact that I simply would not do that, not even after having paid the $100. I can gaurantee you, that is all from you mother. She would definitely have gone off the bridge.

Christy said...

Oh my gosh, Heidi, you are so brave! My stomach dropped just watching your video. Looks like you were practically thrown off the bridge though! I would have walked away from my $100 and never looked back :)

Tonya said...

I totally screamed when you went down. I would have peed my pants. I would have barfed. I don't know how you did that! CRAZY!I wonder if I could get up the nerve to do that. I think heights is one of my greatest fears. Oh my goodness!

heidi said...

Oh my goodness, I am JEALOUS! I've always wanted to bungee and/or skydive. *sigh* Someday! What a beautiful place you chose for your jump.

vaxhacker said...

Not for $100. Not for $10000 would I do that. You're a brave soul, Heidi. That's an amazing experience, though, and you can rightly savor every re-telling of it from now on, and the ability to say you jumped off a bridge in Africa.

It does kind of ruin that old chestnut of, "If your friends all jumped off a bridge, would you do it too?" You can't really do that to your kids, now, can you? "Well, mom, you did!"

vaxhacker said...

LOL... I just realized, when I scanned past this tag/meme of things you've done in your life, that you've managed to do a number of them most of the rest of us never will.

My hat's off to you for living life as such an adventure!

Stace said...

You have one-up on me and always will. I could never do that. I was sick just watching you. Good for you and glad you are safe and sound. Didn't realize how dangerous Africa was after all. Love all the animal pictures. It always takes my breath away to see these creatures in the wild and to think that you were right there.

Andrea Lei said...

Good job Heidi, I must admit it would take the guy pushing me off too, if it were me. How fun!

The Garver Family said...

Wholly Buckets! Way to go!