Today I went bungee jumping for the first time in my life.
Jumping off a ledge might seem like a simple thing, but it isn’t. Here is how to do it if you ever feel so inclined to go bungee jumping.
1) Lie to yourself
No rational person would throw themselves off a ledge, so you have to lie to yourself to do it. Just like how everyone lies to themselves when they do something unnatural that human beings aren’t supposed to do, like fly. We tell ourselves that flying is the safest form of transportation, accidents are rare, etc. etc. The fact remains, you are flying in the air and you are not a bird and if you crash, you will die.
Likewise, you need to convince yourself that bungee jumping is perfectly safe. There have been no serious accidents at this bungee location. You are more likely to get hit by a car crossing the street, get the Ebola virus from a rogue New Zealand sheep, or getting hit by a meteor. The truth of those statements is irreverent. You just need to believe it’s true.
When I was standing on the edge, I realized that it was safer to fall forward that it was to fall backward.
2) Recite the Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear*
I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain.
3) Take one step forward
That’s it. Now you can bungee jump.
Seriously, it was pretty neat. Falling through the air is a very disorienting experience. The first second your arms and legs just flail around like in a cartoon because you have no control. By the time you orient yourself, its pretty much over and your hanging on a rope hundreds of feet below the ground. That is probably scarier because you can sit and look and think about the fact you are hanging there by a bunch of rubber bands.
I should also mention that it was raining while I jumped, which makes it even more impressive….to me at least.
* That one is for all the geeks out there.