Published: April 7th 2009April 6th 2009
On Sunday I did perhaps the most adventurous of all the things I will do while I am living in Greece. I went to the Corinth Canal and went bungee jumping.
What spurred on this need for some insane and mildly reckless behavior? A combination of factors and emotions. A part of me always wanted to do it, a seed planted early on that only grew in the last few weeks. First of all, the Corinth Canal is only about an hour from Athens, easy (and cheap) to get to. So I had the opportunity. Also, after looking into prices, it wasn't really that expensive, so I had the means. Most of all, I had the need. I needed to do something crazy and out of the ordinary to remind myself of who I am. I needed something a bit reckless and dangerous just to remember how precious and valuable every moment is, and more importantly to spend those precious and valuable moments doing the things I want to do instead of waiting around until some other day. The reasons behind my going bungee jumping were personal and meaningful, and it I think it completely enhanced an amazing experience.
I was definitely nervous before jumping. I still can barely believe I did something so adventurous and crazy. But it really wasn't that scary. There were two moments that I found frightening. The very very beginning of the jump and the moment when you release your feet from the harness. As I stood on the platform waiting to jump, I was nervous. Everyone counted down for me to jump, and I felt like I hesitated for a really long moment, though you can't really tell at all in the videos. Psychologically, actually jumping was the most frightening part. Then, for those first few milliseconds, as I was falling through the air, I was initially petrified. But then I realized, nothing to do about it now but enjoy the ride. And I did.
After the brief moment of fright, it was an amazing experience. It is just like diving into a swimming pool, the same motions, but instead of the water slowing you down, the bungee cord does it, and it takes a bit more distance to achieve the same basic effect. After that first moment, I immediately I felt free. It was just me, in the canal, no time
or space for thoughts of any kind. Just pure and simple lightness of being. After the first couple of bounces, I lost most of my momentum, and then I really took in my surroundings. I felt nothing encouraging me to think about anything other than the here and now, so I enjoyed every moment I was in the canal: the deep blue color of the water on an overcast day, the seagull resting in a small hollow in the canal wall, the sheerness of the walls themselves, the feeling of just existing.
The second most terrifying moment for me came when it was time to release my feet. You pull this cord which release your feet from the rest of the harness so that you flip back to being right side up instead of upside down. The only problem is that you dangling in a middle of a canal, upside down, and you are releasing a piece of your harness. Not really, because the feet are harness in a separate manner altogether, but it feels like it is all connect (since, temporarily, it is). Anyway, you pull the cord and suddenly you are flipping around and feeling again like
you are falling, but this time you didn't jump. So I immediately grabbed on to the bungee rope for security, just in case, though there really was no need. But then, once I was flipped around, it was again just some peaceful, hanging out time on my own in the canal.
I like to swing my legs. It's a really great way to do so, when you are suspended in the air, supported by a harness.
It was a surprisingly wonderful experience. It cleared my head in a way I never thought was possible. It flipped my mood around entirely. It was exactly the right thing for me- it was precisely what I needed. I have no regrets about going. Someday I may even go again, though I am not necessarily in a rush to do so either. But I do definitely recommend it, if you are ever thinking about going- everyone sometimes needs a little crazy in life.
P.S. sorry but I couldn't get the video of my actual jump onto this site because it was too big. If you have facebook you can check it out there... hopefully I will manage to
get it on here soon though
There are more photos below