Monday, February 26, 2007

Able to Leap Tall Buildings with a Single Bound, It's the Naked Bungee Jumper!

Yeah . . . I finally did it and what a rush that was. Four to five seconds of sheer terror flying 143 feet from the top of a bridge on Vancouver Island to just a head splash into the frigid ice cold waters of Nanaimo River far below . . . completely naked. I'm still hyped on the adrenalin rush of the experience and wish I'd signed up for a couple of more slots.

I case you didn't know, the Bungy Zone (on Vancouver Island) hosts a naked bungee cord jumping event once each year around Valentine's Day . . . with the entire proceeds going to charity. This years event was held Feb 24th and 25th because of the growing popularity of this event. To jump, you 'donate' $25 to charity . . . this years beneficiary, the Schizophrenia Society of British Columbia.

I'd signed up in advance for Sunday, staying with friends on the mainland. The weather could have cooperated more. As it was, it was cold, it was drizzly; and waiting for your turn, sans clothes on a high arch bridge with no shelter from the wind . . . the eventual jump was almost a relief!

As my feet are being strapped in by the attendants I stare at that cord thinking both how impressive the whole thing is . . . and how scary that this band of rubber is all that stands between me having the thrill of my life . . . or dashing my skull apart on the nasty-looking rocks lining the bottom of the Nanaimo River 143 feet feet below me. An employee mans a video camera . . . everyone gets a CD video of their jump if they pay the price. It's worth it and I can hardly wait to view myself screaming all the way down.

The line of shivering naked hopefuls stretches out behind me . . . all waiting their turn . . . all waiting to see if I chicken out. No one has and neither will I. I stand at the edge, long seconds drawn out. Is everybody staring at me? Closing my eyes I simply lean forward and gravity takes hold. Down I go.

Everyone either screams or tears up when they jump. There is no time for puking. I'm no exception. I fall streaming a doppler-shifted banshee wail and all of a sudden I'm going vertical as the cord takes charge and starts to decelerate me, exerting an insistent, steady pull on my feet and ankles. I can see every ripple and wave of the river surface below me as I approach, slowing almost to a stop before my head dashes beneath.

For a brief moment a frigid rush suffuses my body then the cord rebounds, snatching me out of the water. The bottom team is there to collect me and I begin the climb back up to collect my clothes and rewarm myself.

One of the best experiences of my life and I will definitely be there next year for the 2008 Nude Bungee Cord Jump.

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