Toastmasters Project #5Your Body SpeaksJust a Jump - Bernardo NajlisMadame Toastmaster, fellow toastmasters and welcomed guests...Just by showing hands: How many of you know the TV Show “The Amazing Race”?Good, good. I’m a huge fan of ‘The Amazing Race’ and sometimes I imaging myselfgoing through life doing the kind of challenges they have on the show. That’s how Idecided to better be prepared and try bungee jumping. I did this a couple of weeks agoin Ottawa, where there is a crane over a sheer cliff surrounded by a lake.So the ﬁrst thing you have to do is climb that cliff from the base where the lake is, andget to the crane. I got up with a group of around 10 other people. They put us in orderaccording to our weight and the jumps started. After a couple of guys jumped, my turncame up so I started walking on the crane to get to the place where one actually jumps.That walk was one of the most scariest things I did... at least until that moment.They adjusted the jumping rope on my feet and an extra safety harness on my chest.While I was sitting and waiting to jump, my mind went totally blank. Couldn’t think ofanything, neither future nor past.And then they told me to stand up and get to the jumping place, where there were twohandrails . The instructors told me to extend my arms and just look into the horizon.Then the countdown begun... ﬁve, four, three, two, oneeeeee.... I grabbed the handrailsand I couldn’t jump!!! So the instructors started with a pep talk: it is normal to benervous because what you’re doing is not normal, you’re probably feeling the adrenalinerush, this is totally safe, thousands of people jump every single year.And they put me back into the jumping position and the countdown starts again... and Ijust couldn’t do it. At this point my heart was racing, almost jumping out of my mouth,and my legs shaking. Believe me, if you want to do this, you better just do it from theﬁrst attempt, the more you get cold feet, the worst it gets. I started to feel how nervousthe instructors got, so they tell me: “Ok, look, this is what we’re gonna do: turn around”and I turned around, with my back facing the void. Then they grabbed me by the safetyharness and instructed me to lay back over the edge. So I put half of my feet on theplatform and the my heels out of it and laid back while they hold me by the stringattached to my harness. They instructed me to extend my arms again, I shut my eyesand when they asked me, I gave the signal and they released me....I stated falling, falling on my back and trying to grab onto something. The feeling you getwhile falling is totally indescribable, I think the best word I can come up with isoverwhelming. It takes around 5 to 6 seconds for your brain to try understand what ishappening... and for me to stop screaming. After that you can start to enjoy the up anddown rebound that are really cool. After all the bouncing ended, they lowered my cable
to a boat that waited for me and then took me to out of the lake to the coast where myfriends were.What can I say? It was deﬁnitively the scariest thing I’ve ever done. Would I do it again?Probably no, but I think is one of those “once in a lifetime” experiences that you have togo through. It helped me learn more about my fears and limits and how to face them,but I can testify that it is not just a jump!