Bungy – I did it, A letter to mum a dad

Written by Kenneth Karl Nielsen on . Posted in Article, Stories

I never believed I had the guts to do it – but I did. Now I’ve done it, the unthinkable thing – I jumped a bungy jump – and I’m still alive even though it feels like I’ve gone to heaven.

I Stood on the platform and looked down at a 43 meter drop into a river. I felt my stomach jump up and down with anticipation.

Pros and cons

I weighed up the pros and cons of bungy jumping, the rational side of my mind screamed “No-no, don’t do it, you’ll damage yourself!” The irresponsible and adventurous side replied “Calm down, its only a bit of harmless fun!”

It all began …

It all began when we moved on to Queenstown in New Zealand. We were staying with someone, who had played a part in starting the bungy jump craze. How we were laughed at because we didn’t have the nerve to try it! However, I didn’t care and admitted to my cowardice. They laughed at us for days when Marianne and I again went out to watch others jump.

Dented pride

My pride was feeling rather dented at this point, so damaged in fact that I felt the need to deceive. I decided to forge a photograph of myself jumping, to do this I would take a picture of somebody bungy jumping with blond hair obscuring her face, and tell the world that it was me. The only problem was that nine out of ten of those who jumped the terrible 43m were Japanese, and the number of Japanese women with bleached hair was very limited. Unfortunately, this would turn out to be more difficult than I had imagined.

Maybe not that dangerous

After having watched the bungy jumping for a few hours, Marianne and I were convinced that it didn’t really look so dangerous after all. Nobody had died while we were watching, and that was a positive thing. Slowly but surely, we began to consider taking part in this wonderful game of Russian roulette – maybe, possibly, – but not today. We took control of ourselves and left without further consideration.

When we arrived home we had an opportunity to discuss the days events. The best argument in favour of us jumping was: If the Japanese could do it, then why couldn’t we? While in the safety and security of our house; we decided to do it.

No turning back…

Early the next day we went downtown and paid for a jump each. We realised it wouldn’t be a good idea to pay to more than one jump in case it went wrong the first time. Imagine how much money we would then spend on nothing! With the benefit of hindsight, an argument like this was obviously constructed too early in the morning.

After paying for the bungy jump there was no turning back. On the 15-minute bus trip to the site, the gravity of the situation became apparent and I realised the full extent of what I was about to do. I remember cursing my folly: “Fool, idiot, you will never see your family again”. My stomach reacted to these turbulent images and became unsettled. I felt nauseous and could feel my breakfast moving up my throat. I swallowed like a mad woman and tried to make light of the situation, after all, I had paid for it and I wasn’t exactly a millionaire.

When we arrived, we had to be weighed. That was not very funny, and in addition they wrote our weight on our hands so that everybody could see the figure. I felt this a violation of my privacy. I tried to distract myself with this injustice instead of the impending jump.

Marianne and I competed about who was going to jump first. I lost – or won the right to be the first. I said “okay” even though at that point I was still trying to talk myself out of it. “I have to do it or Marianne won’t do it either, we have do this together.”

On to the platform

While waving to Marianne and telling her to give my love to my family, I walked falteringly across to the jumping platform.

The rope was securely fastened around my legs, reassuringly, I felt an air of professionalism surround the workers. They talked and asked a lot of questions, I had to really focus myself on answering. I felt unreal, I didn’t realise what was going on – that was until I peered over at th

Author: Heidi_Linnemann

Photo is a general photo – not Heidi.

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Kenneth Karl Nielsen

I am one of the founders of Backpacker Planet - I left on my first backpacking trip in 1994 and have kept backpacking around the world ever since.