When i came up with the idea to bungee at the Orlando Towers in Soweto, it all seemed like a good idea. It was something that was on my #IAMPosiible list and the Orlando Towers are about 20min away from where i live. There was absolutely no reason not to try.
Let me just mention as well that i suffer from Altophobia. So this experience was meant for me to face my fears and conquer them.
It all sounds good on paper until you arrive at the Orlando Towers and realise how far up 100 metres really is. The size of those towers didn’t help matters as well, they really put the height into perspective.
I had managed to convince/lure/glamour/conjure/ delude 5 of my friends to come with me, in the hopes that the team spirit would ease my discomfort. Nope, these fools where late again, and were saying “Go ahead and jump with out us”. If this was a pie eating contest i would have gladly left them behind but i played the gentleman card and decided to wait for them. There was Noooo way i was jumping without the team, i was counting on that team spirit, but ofcourse i didnt tell them that. I still had to throw a tantrum because of their tardiness.
Finally they arrived and it was our turn to jump.
The problem with being a big black guy, 1.8m tall and 80 odd kilograms, is that society doesnt allow you to show too much fear. Its okay to be concerned but not afraid. Honestly i was scared, from the moment we entered the briefing area i did not make eye contact with anyone. I tried not to speak too much just in case my voice crackled with fear, my friends would never let it go. NEVER!!
After the briefing we boarded this rickety elevator with all the pulleys and contraptions exposed, that did not help ease my nerves. There was some light conversation going but i did not partake, i was focused on not looking down.
The rickety elevator came to a halt, it was time to go out. I strategically held back so that everyone else could go before me, it worked – i was among the last to leave the elevator.
The reason i don’t play lotto is simply because i know i don’t have that kind of luck. How do i know that im not the lucky type?
As soon as i walked out of that elevator the guy in charge pointed at me and said “You – You look like you are in charge here, you are going first”. Before i knew it i was being led across a rickety bridge towards the jump area. My brain didn’t have time to process, the guide was telling me stuff but i couldn’t hear it – i shut it out. All of a sudden there was a camera guy taking pics “okay keep calm, look cool” i told myself. They led me all the way to the edge constantly talking to me, not allowing my brain to think about it too much.
Ropes tied – Safety Check. Next thing i know I’m standing on the edge and we are counting down. Not from 10 but from 3. 3…. 2….1…..
At first i could believe i was actually in free fall. I held my fists tight trying to hold on to thin air. It was an amazing feeling, i felt free. Then i felt a pull back, i had reached the end of the rope. I bounced around a few times in mid air, it was exhilarating. Then it was all over, at most 30 seconds, i felt cheated. Like when someone takes 3 bars of your kit kat.
As they lowered me to the ground real fear crept in. Now i actually had time to process what was going on. As i hung there i could feel the rope around my ankles, how tight it was and i realized how my life actually depended on this rope.
Finally i got to the ground, alive and well. Just excited that i conquered one of my fears. Now that i have done it once i want to do it again, and again and again.
What i learnt the most from this experience was that sometimes you just have to let go and have some faith. Faith is a prerequisite to going beyond and doing things that are out of your comfort zone.
What once was a mountain is now a molehill.