Published in "The Challenge" put out by DESA (Diabetes Exercise & Sports Association)

"Gravity Testers"

The countdown begins and the anxiety meter rockets upward as the rope crew sends out a booming 5, 4, 3...My mind fights the battle to resist the urge to step off the narrow railing I had cautiously inched on to.  A nervous glance downward and I catch a heart pounding view of the Snake River flowing 500 feet under my tenuous perch.  There is a lot of air space between my frame and the water far below.  I take one more look at the array of crazy characters that have joined me in this unique sport of bungee jumping.  

Our take off point is the Perrine Bridge near Twin Falls, Idaho.  At 1500 feet in length, it is the longest span bridge in the West.  However, I am much more aware of the vertical qualities. 

My confidence in the gear and the experience of the crew puts me at ease in a sport that few venture into.  Today I am joined by some of my dearest friends who I trust will remind me to disconnect from my life support before the final countdown.  I doubt that my insurance would cover an insulin pump donation to the Snake River.

My leap of faith draws near.  Marcos Rojas of Over the Edge Bungee, a  close friend, is in charge of today's operation.  He spots the bungee as he echoes ..2...Fellow gravity tester Matt Score also joins us on the bridge.  Matt does a whirlwind of work with our No Limits group that was formed to promote, educate, and inspire an active, healthy lifestyle for all people with diabetes.  Bungee jumping is a unique fit to this equation.

The Biggest Danger in Life is Not Taking Adventures

I am constantly approached with the question of why a person would leap off of a perfectly good bridge.  Yes, the question has surged through my mind and fear is definitely a factor.  However, the fear of falling pails in comparison to the fear of missing opportunities to live life more abundantly.  George Mallory (of Mt. Everest Fame) stated it in terms that adventure seekers can relate to.  "The biggest danger in life is not taking adventures."

People tend to live life inside the limits of their designated "boxes".  Like many of you I deal with the barriers that diabetes can impose.  We are faced with physical, mental and emotional challenges that we must overcome to break the barriers the disease inflicts on on.

Letting Go

The count reaches..1...Despite firing nerves, jumbled thoughts and a nano second prayer, I dive off into space.  Gravity is now my partner as I accelerate towards earth at speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour.

Despite some earlier reluctance and thought, I am now immersed in the moment as I put my arms to my side and do my best imitation of a torpedo.  I reach a split second where I am motionless then the stretched out cords recoil, sending me back toward the under carriage of the bridge.  After a number of rebounds I slowly reach a point where I am handing upside down and loving the moment, dangling about 250 feet above the river.  I can only smile as the retrieval rope is lowered to me.

More...Over the Edge

Further adventure took us to the Navajo Bridge near Page, Arizona where we connected with a film crew working for the Discovery Channel.  They took some great shots of our flights into Marble Canyon above the Colorado River.  A couple night jumps off a local bridge in Idaho added a different spin to our memories.  Leaping into a "black hole" was a novel experience for this gravity tester.

No Limits had their second fund raiser of the year (other fund raiser was a sky dive event) with a bungee jump off the Hansen Bridge (400 feet) near Twin Falls, Idaho.  We were fortunate enough to be featured in the Times-News newspaper (Twin Falls, Idaho) and had a very successful day with 13 jumpers, many of whom were first timers.  I especially love helping first timers.  What an experience for them!

Bungee jumping is not for everyone, but if you can muster the courage to escape your box for a little air time, you too can become a gravity tester.

Over the Edge Bungee - / 208-731-1648

1 Comment