Lesson From Bungy Jumping

This is a somewhat scary guest post for those who are afraid of height (like me!) by one of my favorite bloggers,Joe, from RetireBy40. He is a very brave man! Read on and find out why… If you ever thought about an early retirement, you must head over to Joe’s website where he is chronicling his journey to retirement by… 40.

See Joe jump here!

In 2006, I flew to New Zealand to meet up with my parents. We planned to caravan around the North Island for 10 days before going to visit my Aunt in Melbourne. I guess it might sound strange for a 32 year-old guy to be going on vacation with his parents, but I haven’t seen them for a few years and I wanted to drive them around and show them a good time. The Mrs. was still in college at the time and she went to Oaxaca for a class at the same time so we had separate vacations that year.

New Zealand was just awesome. The country side was lush, green, and beautiful, it really reminded me of hobbit country. The people were very friendly and relaxed, this was my kind of place. Auckland felt like any city, but outside of that many places had that small town feel. Anyway, I had always wanted to try bungy jumping and what better place to do it than the home of bungy – New Zealand. I researched before I left and found a good spot at Taupo bungy. This jump is off the cliff above the beautiful emerald Waikato River and you have the option to touch the water!

One of our stops was Lake Taupo, but my mom really didn’t want me to bungy. I guess I could see it from her point of view, who would want to see their kid jump off a 150 foot tall cliff? So I thought to myself, I’ll do it another day when the parental unit is not around. We checked out the gypsy/carnival caravan, explored the town, hung out near the lake, and had a relaxing time in general. On our way out of town, I figured – let’s stop and see what the jump looks like.

We got there and it didn’t look that scary from the parking lot. The viewing area was level with the cantilever jumping platform so you only saw people jumping off and not how high the drop was. Then I saw a couple of girls doing a tandem jump and I thought to myself, “COME ON, girls are doing this!” So I told my mom, hey look everybody is fine, no problem!

That’s how I found myself at the plank looking down 150 feet to the river. Oh yeah! I elected to touch the water. They told me to be stiff and fall forward like a board. But I tell ya, when you’re looking down that far, your body won’t edge forward like that. I only hesitated a second and then bent my knee and down I went. I saw the platform falling away and it was a perfect ZEN moment for me. My mind went completely blank and it was a great feeling.

So what did I learn from this experience other than bungy jumping is awesome? I learned that if you want something, just keep moving toward it. Even if you don’t get it right away, keep edging that way and someday you’ll get there. Once you’re at the edge, just do it and don’t put it off. Tenuous? Maybe, but I’m sticking with it.

24 thoughts on “Lesson From Bungy Jumping

  1. Jessica07

    “They told me to be stiff and fall forward like a board. But I tell ya, when you’re looking down that far, your body won’t edge forward like that.” Hahaha! That really cracks me up. I completely agree with you! It’s like your body is telling your mind, “Whoa, buddy. Just because you’re suicidal, that doesn’t mean I am.” LOL.

    Reply
  2. Everyday Tips

    I am such a baby about heights that I know that bungee jumping, skydiving, etc are things I will most likely never do. I envy you for being able to do it though. It sounds like it was a fantastic experience.

    Reply
  3. Niki

    That is amazing! I think I would love to bungee jump, that moment of free falling. I was shot up in a cage once and that was so fun, but without the cage just seems so terrifying and exciting. Maybe one day, I will just keep moving towards it.

    Reply
    1. retirebyforty

      It felt great! I loved it. My mind is always so full and it never completely clears out. For that one moment though, it was just empty. I definitely recommend bungy for anyone.

      Reply
  4. Buck Inspire

    That’s crazy insane! Awesome post. I haven’t tried bungy, but have done skydiving and ziplining. I should write it up one day. Ziplining is the safest I think. Going more horizontal than full on plunging to the earth. I agree with you on that Zen feeling. Totally amazing and at peace. Thanks for sharing, brings back memories! 🙂

    Reply
    1. retirebyforty

      Bungy is so much more scary than skydiving. You can see the ground/river right there. I haven’t tried ziplining. Someday….

      Reply
  5. Deidre @ TransFormX

    Awesome Post! I especially like your comment about the mind clearing….so interesting that you had a ‘quiet mind’ experience through bungy jumping! wow!

    Excellent Guest Post Pick Aloysa!

    Reply
      1. Deidre @ TransFormX

        Interesting question RB40….I wondered myself as I was reading through the post. I have ‘quiet mind’ Zen feeling during a sweat lodge ceremony. I suspect it is the action of something so unfamiliar to the ego that you slip right into Zen.

        Reply
  6. Suba

    I cannot do it. Technically I can, just my husband cannot do it, he will have a heart attack (he is acrophobic). So I never thought about doing it, it sounds fantastic but scary. I might fall sick though… Now that think about it, no… I think I will pass, very scary

    Reply
  7. LifeAndMyFinances

    I don’t think I’ll ever bungy jump. It may be safe, but I’ll always fear that something will go wrong. I love life, and would rather live it with both feet on the ground!

    Reply
    1. retirebyforty

      I’m sure the bungy operator will tell us that it’s safer than driving, but I see your point. I don’t know if I’ll do it again now that we are going to have a kid.

      Reply
  8. Lisa @ Cents To Save

    I don’t think I will every bungy jump…. or jump out of a plane. But ziplining… that is something I could do.

    Reply
  9. Moneycone

    That was awesome! I once did that at a amusement park – they don’t tie your feet and it isn’t as scary as this one! Still the experience was awesome!

    Reply
  10. brokeprofessionals

    I get a little nervous trying to do repair work on a roof, so I will have to hand it to you on this one! Crazy.

    Reply
  11. Squirrelers

    That seems like it was a pretty intense experience! So the lesson is to keep going once at the edge, and to get over your fears and move forward. I can get that concept.

    As far as bungy jumping is concerned, I’m not going to do that. Maybe ziplining, depending on what the scene looks like and my confidence in the setup.

    Reply

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