Monteverde 3

The morning I was scheduled to bungee jump was a moment I contemplated. The night before, I was deciding if I actually wanted to do this. Researching online, I couldn’t help but constantly search the negative results that could occur from bungee jumping. Spinal snaps and the brain hitting against the skull were just a few. The videos of successful bungee jumps still didn’t convince me that everything was going to be okay.

So, it was decided. I wouldn’t bungee jump. To solidify my decision, I ate breakfast. Something that some of my peers recommended not doing if you were bungee jumping.

The breakfast was included in the plan, so naturally, I was going to get what I paid for. The breakfast could have been better. A pancake, eggs, fruit, toast with only butter, and orange juice were the items. I ate with my two host roommates and another peer. Two were bungee jumping, one was observing. I, still undecided. Bungee jumping is something I really wanted to do, but, there were risks involved. I boarded the small bus to the site. I might as well observe others bungee jumping I thought. On the way there, one of the guys played “Whatever it takes” by Imagine Dragon. Fitting.

When we arrived, we saw two parrots in the trees.

The two parrots were side by side, necking one another, uninterested in the tourists looking in amazement. Their colors were striking. As we went closer, we saw the main office with a giant X on it. This indeed was going to be Xtreme.

Extremo Park is known for having the highest bungee jump in Central America with a height of 143 meters.

I stood awkwardly in the office as most of my peers began signing waivers. I was off to the side, observing. A peer approached me and asked if I was bungee jumping. I said I wasn’t. At that point, she proceeded to give me a talk about why I should. She started by saying that I was really excited about bungee jumping. This is true. Then she went to say that I don’t want to make a decision that I would later regret. Solid point. But the costs still seemed to outweigh the benefits.

I stayed firm in my decision not to bungee jump, and then went to the bathroom to get away from all the movement and noise. It’s difficult seeing others do what you were so excited to do. I took my time in the bathroom, feeling defeated by fear. I found a bench to sit on and I called my mom. When she first heard the idea that I wanted to bungee jump, she thought I was out of my mind and told me that I shouldn’t. Her opinion is very important to me, so part of my decision not to bungee jump was out of respect. But, it wouldn’t hurt to try to convince my mom. I called my mom that Sunday morning. It was early. So, I was surprised she picked up the phone. I told her that I really, really, really wanted to bungee jump. Please insert another really for emphasis. She told me that I could do it.

Success. I practically ran to the office to sign the form. After signing, I was weighed, given a wristband, and was off. I ran (I know, a lot of running was involved), to the observation point. I was excited. Overly excited. I announced to the group that I was going to bungee jump and some expressed that they were glad I decided to do so.

The view was crazy. The land was empty. Void of humans and animals. I looked around from the viewpoint. The site was amazing. In the states, I don’t have views like these. It’s replaced with beaches and swamps. Trust me. Oceans are great. But there is something about the wilderness and the mountains that is serene. That takes your breath away because it’s nature’s architecture. And you are. Simply observing.

There were many students before my turn. I spent that time being anxious, taking photos, and analyzing how each jumper was supposed to perform the jump. Jump, grab a rope, get pulled up. Simple enough.

When the first cart went to the middle of the site, we cheered. As the cart came back and forth, the excitement of seeing others bungee jump lowered a bit and we just watched.

When it was my turn, I was thrilled. I was jumping with someone in my program. While getting strapped on, the employee asked me if the people at the front desk cleared me to go. I said yes. He asked my weight and it turned out, I was about a pound and a half to two pounds below the minimum weight. He said I should be fine as I saw the straps barely fitting my ankles. After securing some straps, I was ready to go.

I wore my sloth shirt, naturally. Although, I’m pretty sure sloths would be too lazy to bungee jump (queue reader laughing). You’re welcome. We entered a cart which swayed side to side as it was suspended between cables.

We sat on a bench and were strapped to the cart and then off we went. The wind blew a bit more than the cart did. There were two workers in the front.

We saw nature come below us. I couldn’t help but smile. Out of fear and excitement. We stopped. We were in the middle. It was time. They asked who wanted to go first and I said I would. Yes, the person who wasn’t going to bungee jump just a few moments ago volunteered to go first. Yeah. I didn’t want to see someone fall first and then just wait to do the same. That would just build up the anxiousness. Before jumping, a nice woman from California who went before me, advised me to not look down when I jump. To  just look forward. When I stood up, I was further strapped and had a helmet with a camera placed on my head. I walked to the edge. And what did I do? I looked down. Yeah, I know. At that moment, I walked backwards and said I thought I was going to faint. The two employees held me from going backwards any further. They told me to just look forward. I placed my hands on top of one another, looked forward, and dove like I was entering a pool. It was all silent. The rush of wind entered my eyes and all I saw was green. Before I knew it, it was at the end and going the opposite direction. There was no stomach drop. There was no harsh pull. The experience was seamless. I didn’t scream up to that point. To break the silence, I screamed out of joy. I yelled to all my peers at the observation platform. They seemed so small far away. Whatever they said, I could not hear it. I looked around the landscape before me. I heard the zzzz-ing of another cord approach me on the side. Before, I was instructed what to do. I loosely grabbed the cord and it began to be retracted. I grabbed the clip at the end of the cord and lifted my upper body up to clip the clip on the belt around my waist. I did it. Whew. I was proceed to be lifted up which was awkward because at one point, I was at a 90 degree angle so it was almost like I was laying in the air. As I was being lifted up, there was a huge smile on my face. I couldn’t believe I did it. I continued to look around and took in the moment.

I had accomplished bungee jumping.

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