New Zealand is well-known for its extreme sports. Aucklander A.J. Hackett opened the world’s first commercial bungee jumping site in Queenstown, New Zealand in 1988. Since then, the bungee company has been growing, and eventually a site was established on the Auckland Harbour Bridge.

Before I left the States, I decided I had to go bungee jumping during my semester abroad in New Zealand. I’m not exactly sure how I reached this decision, but I remember thinking, ‘Well, if New Zealand is known for bungee jumping, then I should do it while I’m there.”

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m a quiet, shy person who is very afraid of heights. Extreme sports are not my thing.

But I went bungee jumping anyway.

First, I had to walk to the center of the Auckland Harbour Bridge, where the site was. That part wasn’t too bad, as long as you don’t look down.

They played loud techno music on the stereo to pump up our adrenaline while we each waited our turn. When it was my turn to jump, it finally hit me that I was actually going to do this. As I stood on the platform, this numb, tingling feeling ran up my arms and legs.

One of the bungee workers standing next to me counted, ‘Three, two, one, go!” but I couldn’t jump. He counted two more times after that, but I was still on the platform. He then told me that by standing there and waiting, I was only building up the anxiety and making it worse. True, because that tingling feeling kept growing.

I finally jumped on the fourth count. But I didn’t actually think I would do it, considering I had chickened out the last three times for a moment my mind and my body were not in sync.

When I realized I was definitely off the platform, I said, ‘Oh, shit!” to myself and shut my eyes tight. During the fall, my eyes were closed, and then I felt the water at my fingertips, so I knew I had reached the bottom, and opened my eyes.

The scary part was over. As I hung upside down from the bridge, I noticed how quiet and peaceful it was I could no longer hear the booming techno music from above. I wanted to stay there longer and just chill, but they had to lift me back up so the next person could go.

Though I don’t plan on bungee jumping ever again, at least I can say I’ve done it before. Oh, and I’ve also been kayaking, sand boarding and zorbing in New Zealand. So what’s next? Skydiving (just kidding).

Weng is a member of the class of 2011.

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