10 hours after landing in the adventure capital of the world, I jumped off a very tall building.
Why not start with a bang, eh?
To clarify, what happened is that I stopped by SkyJump, a 192-metercontrolled fall from the top of the SkyTower, to say hello to my friend who has been working there while on her working holiday visa.
She asked me if I was going to jump. I’d seen the video of her jump on Facebook, so I had an idea of what it was like.
The idea was both scary and enticing.
That would be so cool. I’ve always wanted to skydive, so if I would jump off a plane, this couldn’t be that bad.
But what if they didn’t tie me up right? What if the cable broke? What if I was the one person that died?
They know what they are doing. They do it every day. Thousand of people have done it and survived. You just saw a 70-year old lady come off of the SkyWalk. Surely, you can do the SkyJump.
Sissy. What are you waiting for?
I knew I was just making excuses not to do it and, as my thoughts warred with each other, I heard my friend tell me she would let me do it for free.*
*It would otherwise have cost me NZ $196.
For some reason, that stopped my excuses in their tracks and I heard myself say yes without even thinking.
There was no turning back.
My friend suited me up, and we went up with the elevator. She jumped first, and then it was my turn.
I was so scared! The guys operating the whole thing were just making jokes, trying to get me to look down to the street.
But then they asked me to hold on to two cables, one in each hand, and step to the edge of the platform. I couldn’t avoid looking down at that point, as my body was leaning forward.
There was nowhere else I could look.
And then they gave me the countdown.
Three, two, one…
Three, two, one…
I was paralyzed. I could hear them, and I knew what I needed to do. But it was like I was no longer in control of my body. All the reasons why what I was doing was crazy came rushing back into my mind, and I kept trying to battle them off.
In the end, I asked for a third countdown. I knew that, just as with life, I needed to trust the process. I needed to have faith. If I could get my brain to stop thinking for just long enough to open my hands and let go, I would be ok.
And I was.
In fact, I was even better than ok. I was thrilled.
Thrilled because of the adrenaline rush, yes.
But also thrilled because I did something I never thought was in me to do, something that was outside my definition of myself.
I pushed my limits.
I made my box a little larger.