A male guide probed, “One last question: Did you pass the sanity test?” “I think I missed by one point, which explains why I’m here,” I said, engaging him in a repartee. I was given the green light to proceed. Finally, the hour had come. I lumbered down the bridge that juts out of the tower. Now the promised panoramic view of Auckland’s skyline greeted me.
Gracing the vista were lush greenery and high-rise buildings. Gale-force wind swept over the vast sea yonder, and dishevelled my once-Justin-Bieber-inspired hair. My friendly guide tethered me to the last safety harness, and very soon I was teetering over the edge, my hands tightly clutching the railings.
Bungee jumps or sky jumps test your courage. It’s different from skydiving, because in the latter the instructor pushes you over. Both of you die, if death comes. It’s oddly comforting. With base jumps, you have to be the one who lets go; the one who takes that leap of faith; and the one who wills your mind to do what your now-throbbing heart refuses to.
“All right, on three… two… ” I dithered, my body now swaying back and forth and my heart racing like a jackhammer. My once-unbridled enthusiasm receded, my mind now inundated with “what have I done?” rhetorical questions.
“Onnnnneeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee…….” You have to jump on cue, at the very last count, or you won’t ever jump.
After heaving a long, deep breath, I did so. And I was weightless, and free.