If It Doesn't Kill You...

November 21, 2010
By , Hinsdale, IL
Unbelievable heat may lead to making some very out-of-character decisions, as it turns out. This I learned over the summer while attending Taft. Taft is a boarding high school located outside of Hartford, CT, that also has a summer program. I attended the latter. On one of the weekends, we took a school trip to Lake Compounce which is a theme park, similar to Six Flags but not as big or interesting. My friends Jin, Rachel, Karley, and I were trying to decide what should be the last thing we should do since we would be leaving the park soon. There was a bungee jump but there was no way I was going to do that!
The mid-day sun was melting the concrete and we were still undecided. We were becoming delusional from heat and the unfamiliarity of being at Taft, for what was then three weeks, we became odder and odder, crazier and crazier until the point we where swearing at birds. This insanity brought on some possibly bad decisions, but it turned out for the better.

As Rachel, Jin, Karley, and I were walking on along with beads of sweat pouring down our chins as if it where raining bile, we came up with ideas of what to do, none of which were good such as, “let’s try the fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches,” or, “let’s see if they will let us on the Wiggles ride.” Then finally, out of Karley’s mouth came four words that were to change my perspective on life forever, “How about bungee jumping?”

While Jin immediately started explaining why not to do so with quite some sternness , Rachel gave a shrug if only to say “why not?”

Since it was clear that there was no way Jin would go, Rachel and Karley worked on me. I don’t really remember how, but somehow they got me to do it. The next thing I know I’m standing in front of a purple and grey vest-suit lying on the floor.
The employees at the bungee jump quickly stereo-typed all of us so it would be easier to communicate with each other as to who we were. Rachel was “red hair”, I was “dress”, and Karley was “long-hair”.

As I stepped into the suit, waiting to be buckled, I looked up. It was then that I was unclear whether I would vomit or wet my knickers. Maybe both. We donned our vests so that the buckles where uncomfortably tight.

The workers quickly told us what to do but I could barely process what they were saying. The one thing I knew was that I didn’t want to be the person who pulls. I was then a great friend and immediately shouted for Rachel to do it, she was an even better friend and agreed to it.

We were then told to walk onto a lift and the workers started to click cords into our vests right away. They then told Rachel that she would hear a countdown and then the word “fly”. On “fly”, she should let go of the rip cord.

The lift started to well, lift, and all of a sudden my stomach was in my butt and I became more and more nervous. After we were a few yards into the air the lift stopped with a jerk and the three of us where floating in the air. We had our stomachs down and arms and legs out superman-style. They then attached the three of us together. We slowly were raised higher and higher in the air until we were a few hundred feet up. My stomach was in my feet by now and my worries where running through my mind at God’s speed. It was then I remembered my fear of heights. I wished I hadn’t done this. I whispered to Karley that I wish I hadn’t agreed to do it. She replied that it was too late now.
Then we finally arrived at the top. A speaker came on that said three…. My heart nearly stopped. Two… now time stopped and I thought, “OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG!" One… Uh oh! Fly! Suddenly we whooshed down and we were seriously flying.

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! We all screamed our heads off. It was amazing as wind finally cooled us off. That became the only thirty seconds that I was not roasting the whole five weeks I was gone.

As we started to slow down from going back and forth, as Newton’s First Law of Motion explains , we all were upset that it was ending. When we landed, it was very odd walking again but I, for one of the only times in my life, was hyper. In fact I was totally pumped for hours and hours afterwards.

I became proud of myself for going through with it and I was excited for the call to my mum the next day about it and her reaction of, “what has this school done to you?” It was one of the coolest things I have ever done; one of the coolest things I have been a part of (with the exception of running away from the Taliban while in India). I realized that taking these risks, while they can be scary, do in fact make you stronger. If life is supposedly so short, why not fill it with excitement and things that you haven’t done? I’m not saying to do extreme things like jumping off of a bridge and see what happens, but sometimes, doing something a little crazy or different is good. Even now I cannot believe that I actually went bungee jumping, but I am glad I did! If I hadn’t, I truly would see the whole world differently. Dear awesomeness, thy name is me.





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