"An Opportunity at 124 miles per hour"
A dramatic, inspiring site perched high above the Arkansas
River, the Royal Gorge Bridge is a popular spot for tourists
to death-grip the railing, and take a heart thumping view to
the river 1,053 feet below. I have a special fondness for
bridges. For four days every year adrendaline seekers descend
upon this special bridge for base and bungee jumping, slack
lining, rock climbing with a few jet pack flights thrown in for
With a call at 3 am I received the invite to participate in the Go
Fast Games by my friends at Over the Edge Bungee. I wanted
to be part of the unique experience by working on the bungee
crew. Of course, I was also there to jump. As a person with diabetes, I have chosen to live life as fully as possible. I am not sure how many is in my quota, but this will be one notch in my 'adventure' quota.
The crew and I have shared the long-lasting dream to leap off of what is probably the ultimate gravity experience on the planet. So, when Over the Edge Bungee was invited to be the sole bungee company working the festival, I knew this was my ticket to adventure.Ticket punched and harness in my suitcase, I made my way to Canon City, Colorado.
This was not the first time I had spent time on the Royal Gorge
Bridge. As a child, the Nevins family had made an excursion
to the bridge. I don’t remember much about the visit except that
there was a definite cloud of fear while on the bridge. Never
did I envision (nor did my poor parents) jumping off the
highest suspension bridge in the world. Come to think of it, I
have spent a large chunk of my life doing things that would not
be on most people’s lists. Sometimes life presents unusual
opportunities and sometimes we need to say yes.
Not wanting to loaf around and allow fear to permeate, I made
sure that I would be dangling from bungee cords on the first
day. The Go Fast Games are four days of intense craziness
held at the end of September. You have to be invited in order
to participate in all the activities except our bungee gig. It
was a real highlight to assist over 80 people make the leap of
a lifetime. It is my guess that almost half of the group, who
were from distant points all over the globe, were first-time
bungee jumpers. In my jumping career, I had started off
slowly (all of 95 feet on my first jump), working up to
loftier bridges. These participants were not messing around.
The novelty of the event truly hit home when I found out that
less than 100 people had ever bungee jumped off this structure,
before we had arrived. It is illegal to jump the bridge unless
it is during the Go Fast Games.
Early on the first day of the Games I climbed over the railing
and onto a platform that had been created for our time on the
bridge. What an amazing place to be! Was I nervous?
Standing at the end of a platform over 1,000 feet above the
River, ready to do my best imitation of a torpedo and fall at
Terminal velocity (124 miles per hour), I had some anxious
Thoughts. But thankfully the anxious-meter was low and I
was smiling. Gravity works exceptionally well at the Gorge
and I had a grand leap. Another phenomenal memory
forever stored into the brain bank.