WHY BUNGEE JUMPING FOR THE 50,000 TIME WAS SCARIER THAN THE FIRST TIME?

Bungee Jumping at Jumpin Heights (Rishikesh, India) proved to be more exciting and scarier than I had envisioned it to be. It was a special occasion as India’s First Extreme Adventure Zone and India’s Highest Bungee Jumping Platform was successfully completing 50, 000 Bungee Jumps. To mark this success, a gala event was organised that witnessed participation from over hundred jumpers, locals, and the ‘Dangal girls’Fatima Shaikh and Sanya Malhotra. Here’s my experience of being taken over by fear and ultimately winning over it.

1…2…3…Jump

No…No…No…No…I can’t.

Please pull me back. I don’t think I am ready. I need more time to compose myself.

This was fear getting on to a person who is known for her dare devil acts. Whether it was snow trekking through blizzard swept glacier in -25 degree Celsius or midnight trekking through the unbearable heat of a live volcano or Zipline biking on a 225-meter-long cable wire suspended 150 feet above the ground in the cyclone hit island or skydiving from an aircraft or simply rafting through the unruly waves of the glacial melted Zanskar; I had indulged in all kinds of extreme adventure. Still I couldn’t jump on the first count. And the funny part was I wasn’t doing it for the first time. I was doing it for the third time. Neither I had Acrophobia nor I was worried about my safety since the crew was highly qualified from none other but the birthplace of Bungee – New Zealand.

SO, WHAT WENT WRONG? WHY DID I CHICKEN OUT?

The culprit was my overthinking. I had breached the golden rule of Extreme AdventureKeep your mind at home. I had forgotten that if you can’t do something, you must give it a try. After all if you don’t win over your fear, the fear will win over you. And there can’t be anything worse than giving up without trying.

Rodolphe Vincent, the head safety instructor at Jumpin Heights, echoed my sentiments,

You are thinking too much. Just jump. The more time you take more difficult it will become.

And it wasn’t just me who was scared. Guarav who had bungee jumped few years ago couldn’t do it again too. So, the theory of becoming less scared with more adventure might not be entirely correct. The best remedy to get over fear is to not give it enough time in your mind to spread its wings.

DID I LET FEAR WIN OVER ME?

"<yoastmark

No. Although I didn’t bungee jump the first time but I didn’t give up. I tried. I failed. I tried again. And I succeeded. I felt incredible after the jump and cursed myself for letting fear have an edge over me for a brief moment. My fear was completely unwarranted. The jump was completely safe. It refreshed me while the uphill trek (after the jump) to the restaurant drained me out.

At the restaurant, I met Niharika Nigam, the Director –Business Development at Jumpin heights. During our conversation she narrated a thrilling story of mental strength and resilience. On May 2, 2010, when she turned 19, she attempted the maiden jump at Jumpin heights or quasi-suicide as her mother called it that time. Her mother was terribly scared and wouldn’t let her jump at any cost but Niharika was determined to lead from the front and demonstrate to the world how safe Bungee Jumping was. So, sneaking out of her mother’s radar she quietly performed the jump.

Niharika Singh, the first bungee jumper at Jumpin Heights, Rishikesh

Niharika Singh, the first bungee jumper at Jumpin Heights, Rishikesh

From that maiden jump to completing 50,000 jumps, Jumpin Heights has come a long way.

Us reaching 50k Bungee Jumps, which internationally is a huge number in Bungee Jumping, is a testimony to the fact that it is gaining immense popularity in India. I remember when we started people would ask weird questions because they had not heard of this sport. And today, we are the #1 attraction on ‘Things to Do’ in Rishikesh on Trip Advisor.

HOW DO YOU FEEL WHEN YOU BUNGEE JUMP?

My heart was throbbing rapidly and my hands were shaking. Even the harness snugged around my hips and over the shoulders and the pep talk by the jump instructor couldn’t scare away my fears. Safety checks were performed, my weight and jump number marked on my hand was checked to balance the weight on the harness. With both legs bound together I started walking like a penguin towards the ledge.

Harnessed for the Bungee Jumping Harnessed for the Bungee Jumping

My feet were on the edge of the ledge and the crew was holding my harness at my back. Neither pushing nor pulling. The jump instructor gave the final set of instructions and started the count down. 1…2…3…3…Jump! My heart was pumping incessantly. I wanted to turn back but I didn’t. Without wasting a second more I looked at the yellow signboard at the far end of the road, stretched my arms out, leaned forward and bang I JUMPED!

My free-fall had taken me to a different world where nothing was stable or familiar. Wind caressed my tresses with jet speed. My anxieties had vanished in the thin air. I surrendered myself to the surroundings instead of controlling them and that’s when I started enjoying Bungee Jumping.  I was free falling – head down, feet up. The blood was rushing to my head. I got the roller-coaster feeling in my stomach. I screamed with excitement. Suddenly I was pulled up by the bungee. I went to the top again and the free fall continued.This process happened twice, albeit in lesser intensity as compared to the earlier one.

After almost a minute of adrenaline pumping, my jump was over. Alas! All good things last for a less time. Finally, two people waiting near the river pulled me down to a deck. My harness was removed, water bottle given and I was awarded the badge saying, ‘I have guts’. Yes, I had done it. I had won over my fear. There’s no better feeling than winning over your fear. I wish my words could do justice to that feeling.

10 TIPS BEFORE YOU BUNGEE JUMP FOR THE FIRST TIME

Bungee Jumping Free Fall after taking the leap of faithBungee Jumping Free Fall after taking the leap of faith

  1. Lead, don’t follow

    Your fear doesn’t leave you if just watch others take the plunge. Go take the leap of faith. The longer you wait to take the leap, the more time you spend making excuses and convincing yourself to back out.

  2. 1, 2, 3…Jump 

    Jump before 3. If you let the person count until jump, chances are you won’t jump on the first count.

  3. Don’t look down 

    That was the mistake I made. It looks damn scary from the top. Just look at the eye level and perform the jump

  4. Choose your surroundings carefully 

    Bungee jumping is about your whole experience, not just the leap. So, choose a brand that is trusted, has well trained staff and is set in a calming environment.

  5. Trust the jump instructors 

    Jump Instructors go through a long, in-depth international training schedule to become a qualified Instructor. You can trust them with your life.

  6. Wear comfortable clothes

    Wear anything you’re comfortable in – T-shirts, shorts, pants! Avoid wearing a skirt, dress or high heels. You can bungee jump either bare foot or with shoes. Just ensure to tie the laces well.

  7. Don’t eat too much before the jump

    It’s advisable to not jump with stomach full as you might puke while jumping won’t be good sight to look at.

  8. Look in the camera and smile

    After the jump, you would want to brag about your adventure to your friends so don’t look scared (even if you are). Take the plunge with a happy face.

  9. Don’t carry your valuables

    You are not allowed to carry a mobile, camera, jewelry or anything else. So, don’t carry them along when you jump.

  10. Read carefully before signing the form 

    Don’t jump if you have any chronic disorders like heart problem, back ache etc. mentioned in the list

 

BASIC FACTS TO CONSIDER

Age: Minimum 12 yrs
Weight: Minimum 35 kgs and Maximum 120 kgs
Reporting Time: 9 AM and average time to complete the activity is 3 to 4 hrs depending on availability
Weekly off: Tuesday Closed
Bungy Location: Mohanchatti (25 kms from Rishikesh)

For more details: visit: www.jumpingheights.com or sent an email to contact@jumpingheights.com

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

Entry Ticket: 100 / person

Bungee Jumping: 3500 / person

Giant Swing: 3500 / person

Flying Fox (if done alone): 3000 / person

Flying Fox (3 persons in tandem): 1700 / person

Local Transfers from Tapovan to Bungy Station (to / fro): 300 / person extra.

Charges for Video (DVD) of the Activity, if required will be extra.

So have your ever done Bungee jumping or tried any other adventure sport? Here is some adventure inspiration for you and some Offbeat Adventure Activities that you have not heard before.

Disclaimer

I was invited by Jumpin Heights to be a part of their gala celebration. All the views expressed and pictures clicked are mine.

21 Comments

  • Katie says:

    A really great blog about conquering your fear! One day I will bungee and conquer my fear too! One step at a time! We did the sky walk around the Macau tower and that required a lot of conquering haha – I am awful at heights! One conquer at a time! 🙂

    • Hey Katie,

      Thanks a lot for your comment. I knew there would be people like me who would get scared but still want to win over their fear that’s why I decided to write about it. I am glad you liked it. And Sky Walk around Macau Tower is pretty scary in itself. Kudos for you to doing it. Next time you can target Bungy jumping 🙂

  • Ivy says:

    Quasi-suicide haha I’m thinking the same thing as Niharika’s mom. 50,000 jumps?!?! That’s insane! I can’t even do ONE lol, let alone that many! I’m scared of heights so much that I said to myself I’d never attempt it. Much respect to those that have conquered their fear.

    • Hey Ivy,

      50000 jumps is a pretty big achievement. Especially, in india where the extreme adventure concept was alien itself.

      Most people have acrophobia but actually it’s pretty fun thing to do. very safe. Do give it a try. Just don’t look down 😛

  • Judy says:

    Wow, you’re absolutely right about how all these extreme sports are about conquering your fear and not always about just the adrenaline rush! Very good take on this extreme adventure that I haven’t thought about in a long time. But I doubt I’d still want to 😂

  • Oh boy I love bungee jumping, I would be all over this. How high is it? No worries you wussed out the first time, I couldn’t do it when they counted down from 3,2,1 either… I had to do it in my own time. I think it’s important to do it on your own terms as it’s so scary!

    I’ve been addicted ever since the first time, I even went to Macau to do the highest one. Also the Nevis bungy in NZ is phenomenal. I wonder if you’ll be hooked, too! 🙂

  • Only By Land says:

    I had one bungee jump in my life, off the Macau Tower. I can imagine how the fear took ahold of you and you explained it well. The 10 points you give on how to bungee jump are perfect, but could they be remembered whilst you’re in the line to jump? The NZ team are what would give me the most confidence!

    • WOW! Macau must have been fun to do. Thanks for liking what I wrote. I agree having a knowledgeable and well trained staff is the most important thing that keeps you the maximum boost of confidence.

  • You have written brilliant tips although I am not going to do bunjee jumping anytime soon. You were so brave for doing this. I would be eager if my friends would be doing this also.

  • Carlinn says:

    You are definitely very brave! I was supposed to jump in Costa Rica once but I totally chickened out and I am forever regretting it! I try and challenge myself more these days though. I always try and go first otherwise nerves get the better of me!

    • Hey Carlinn,

      Thanks for the kind words. I understand what you would have felt after not doing it in Costa Rica. Would have been an awesome experience, if you would have done it. Hope you get to do it soon.

      Best,
      Archana

  • Bhushavali says:

    OMG!!!! That’s just wow!!! I haven’t done bungee jumping yet but I have to do it!!! Rishikesh is a good place to begin with I guess.. Niharika herself is such a young lady and to start such a venture itself is an adventure!

  • Laura says:

    Oh my god! I would like to bungee jump one day, but I have a serious case of vertigo, and as long as I haven’t conquered that fear, I don’t feel up for it! What an awesome series of pictures by the way!

  • Awesome & congrats!! I’ve never tried bungee jumping before but would love to. I love heights and actually love that falling feeling you get from going up and down – though I’ve never tried free falling before. I totally agree with your tip #1 – whenever I do something like this I always volunteer to go first because oftentimes ignorance is bliss!

  • Arzo Travels says:

    I would not say I am a chicken but I think, I would not jump. So proud of you that you still jumped despite your fears, and good you did it. Though I can understand that the first time might not be as scary I hope you´ll do many more great jumps (even with an initial fear 🙂

  • Nathan says:

    You’re braver than I am! I cannot ever see myself bungee jumping. I do scuba diving and that’s the most adventurous sport I ever care to do. Good on you though!

  • I have acrophobia! I will never do bungee jumping…hats off to those who do! I love the adrenalin rush…and the peace that I get when I SCUBA dive…Kudos to you for bungee jumping!

  • Deni says:

    I’m surprised that you were more scared of bungee jumping for the upteenth time compared to your first time jumping! I’ve never bungee jumped before, but I can definitely imagine the fear of jumping into the unknown. I really appreciated your vivid descriptions of how you felt and what it was like once you had leapt off the plaform. It really put me in your shoes and this post may have actually convinced me to put bungee jumping on my bucket list! Great post!

  • Sheila says:

    omg what an incredible experience!! I’ve been thinking about doing bungee jumping for a long time but I haven’t yet, looks a bit scary! But I’ll do it one day for sure! Thanks for sharing with us 😉

  • I got an invite for the same but I did not really have the stomach for this. He he…
    I appreciate you for trying it out. This is something I don’t think I will be able to do anytime soon.

  • Riely says:

    As I am reading this, I can feel my gut turn and get that tingling feeling in my body just at the thought of free falling. I am not one to be known as conquering their height fears. But I have learned to accept to not force something that is just not enjoyable to me. It’s ok to not feel thrilled at the prospect of throwing yourself off a ledge into the open space. But I feel extremely proud of those who can.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *