What Bungee Jumping Taught Me About Fear

It All Started With a Nagging Voice Inside My Head That Kept Saying “Take a Bungee Jump…”

“I’m an old man and I have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.”
– Mark Twain

In 1991, I heard a voice inside my head that said, “Take a bungee jump.”

I’d been studying transformational principles for 20 years at that point, but bungee jumping seemed completely nonsensical to me so I ignored it.

Then, one Saturday morning in September, I was in my bedroom getting ready for the day, and I heard the voice again.

“Take a bungee jump,” the voice said.

This time, I spoke back and said,

“You want me to take a bungee jump? Make it easy for me.”

As I made my way to the family room where my children were watching Saturday morning cartoons, I heard a commercial come on.

“Last weekend in Portland, Oregon! Bungee Jump of America!”

mary morrissey bungee jump story

I stopped in my tracks. Wow! I thought. Of all the synchronicities. Well, I guess it doesn’t get any easier than that.

So I called my good friend, told her I was going bungee jumping and invited her to come along. She wouldn’t bungee jump, she said, but she’d keep me company.

When the day finally came, we drove across town, parked and got out of the car. There stood a huge, 140-foot crane. I looked up and saw a tiny platform that looked like a mini diving board.

As I watched people jump off, I could feel the fear growing inside my belly.

I had expected to be bungee jumping over a body of water such as a lake or a river, but when I looked around, I was in shock. I would be jumping over a parking lot!

It was about this time when I started to feel myself panic.

But I had committed to my decision and I knew the voice wouldn’t stop, so I went inside where I proceeded to watch a tutorial video. I learned that a “bungee master” would be accompanying me up to the platform in order to guide and assist with anything I needed.

After I signed a waiver, we walked outside into the parking lot.

In those days, the bungee cord was tied around the ankles…

The bungee master, a 19-year-old kid wearing a t-shirt that read Bungee Master across the front, wrapped a towel around my ankles, hooked the bungee cord on top of the towel, and led me into a small, caged elevator. He got in beside me and we were lifted 140 feet into the air.

Then, the cage door opened.

As I stepped out, I was surprised at how much higher we seemed to be. The crane hadn’t looked nearly as tall from the bottom. All of a sudden, I noticed how windy it was, and as the platform swayed back and forth, the thought crossed my mind, “What if I slip off?”

I was terrified. I could feel every cell in my body telling me, “This isn’t safe! You could kill yourself. Don’t jump off this thing.”

The bungee master said to me,

“Here’s what we’re gonna do: I’m gonna open this cage door. You’re going to get on that platform and go right to the edge. I’ll say ‘three, two, one, bungee,’ and you’ll jump. If you don’t jump, you’ll get one more chance. I’ll say ‘three, two, one, bungee’ a second time, and if you don’t jump, then you’ll get back into the cage and I’ll take you down to the parking lot. And by the way, we don’t give refunds. You’ll have your opportunity. Take it or leave it.”

Then, the bungee master opened the elevator door…

With the cord around my ankles, I hopped to the edge of the platform and looked down.

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“All right,” said the bungee master. “Here you go. Three… two… one… bungee!”

I couldn’t move. Nothing in my body would work.

scared of bungee jump

As I stood there, frozen to the platform, I heard him say, “Okay, take a deep breath. You get one more chance.”

I took a deep breath and looked out across the valley. I spotted a well-known church in the distance. I knew this church – the name of it was New Hope and I could see the big cross on top of the roof.

For me, the cross had always been a symbol of the intersection between the Infinite side of our nature and the human side of our nature. That place was in our hearts where we could connect with a power that was greater than ourselves.

As I stared at that cross, I heard the bungee master count down again.

“Three… two… one… bungee!”

Looking out at New Hope Church, I said aloud, “Into your arms,” and I jumped.

mary morrissey takes a bungee jump

As I fell, I watched the ground come closer and closer. Before I touched the ground, the bungee cord popped me back up, and I bounced and bounced until I was simply hanging upside down. The bungee cord was lowered safely to the ground, and before I knew it, I was unhooked.

I had gone bungee jumping!

As I was driving away from the bungee jumping platform, I thought to myself,

“Well, that was thrilling, but what was that all about? Why was there a voice inside my head telling me to go bungee jumping. ”

The answers to these questions would remain mysteries for some time, but over the next few months, a number of events would occur in my life that would call upon the lessons that I had gained during my experience.

Whenever you’re afraid, remember that there’s a power that’s greater than you

Fear, doubt, and worry can hold you back from achieving the things in life that you’re truly capable of, but the antidote to these fears and doubts is to know and understand that there’s a power that’s greater than you.

In fact, that power is breathing you at this very moment.

overcome bungee jump fear

You see, your fears come from your own mind, not the outside world, and the truth is that the mind uses fear as a survival mechanism. Its primary job is to protect you!

Understand that, like an over-worried mother, your fear-based mind is only doing its job.

The next time you feel fear rising up inside of you, listen to what it’s telling you, and simply say, “Thank you for sharing!” Then, take a deep breath and redirect your mind back to the present moment and what you want to accomplish.

By realizing and accepting that you can actually do anything you put your mind to, your fears will slowly begin to subside and hold less control over your life.

In Part Two, I’ll share 3 techniques you can use to prepare to do anything that scares you, so that you can live a life you absolutely love! Because the truth is that real growth can only happen on the other side of your fear.

So, what’s something you’ve done that you were afraid of but did it anyway?

break through fear bungee jump

Go ahead and share with us in the comments section below .

A Meditation for Fear

Would you love to feel more confident and at ease in any situation?

If so, my free guided audio meditation, “The DNA of Authentic Self Confidence” is for you!

Manawa Blog

A blog about Outdoor and Adventure Activities

The Complete Guide to Bungee Jumping

What is bungee jumping?

Bungee jumping put simply is an exhilarating adventure sport which involves jumping from a high platform – normally from a dam, bridge, crane or tower, connected to a specially-made thick elastic cord which recoils after a few seconds of freefall. Though the bungee platforms are usually from static structures, it is also possible, and highly thrilling, to bungee jump from hot air balloons, mountain gondolas and helicopters.

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Practiced around the world, this activity is great to do in groups with friends or family, cheering each other on as you wait for your own turn to jump!

Some bungee sites have a minimum weight limit rather than a minimum age, so it’s a sport that can be tried by a range of ages, with no maximum age limit. Some bungee sites however have a minimum age, the average being around 14 years old, but this is dependent on each individual bungee.

A sport that requires minimal preparation on the participant’s part, requiring only a minimal level of fitness, good health, to wear appropriate footwear, and to listen to a safety briefing, this is a great sport that almost anyone can try!

You can ease into bungee jumping by picking the height that suits you best, depending on your threshold for tolerating heights. To compare various bungee sites from one another, take a look at our list of the World’s 10 highest bungee jumps! If you have your eyes set on booking a specific bungee jump or would like to know if there’s a site around you, make sure you check out all our bungee jumps around the world!

Bungee jumping over Nevis River, Queenstown, New Zealand

History of Bungee Jumping

According to a legend surrounding the South Pacific island of Pentecost Island, bungee jumping originated there. The legend says that a woman, fleeing her husband who was mistreating her, climbed a tree to hide, which her husband followed her up. Just as her husband tried to grab her, she tied vines around her ankles and jumped. Her husband jumped at the same time but hit the ground and died, so the woman was saved by the vines.

bungee jumping using vines

A man from the South of Pentecost Island bungee jumping using vines

Since this legend originated, the men of the island have practiced jumping from trees with vines tied around their ankles. This ‘land diving’ or Naghol, as it is known on the island, has become a tradition on Pentecost Island. It is practiced every year on Saturdays between April and June.

Modern history:

In April 1979, on ‘April Fool’s Day’ the Oxford Dangerous Sport Club tried jumping from Bristol’s Clifton Bridge in England. Illegally and moderately unpreparedly, a few members of this club attached elastic bungee cords to themselves and jumped – something they later did again at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, USA. the following year.

This, along with other jumps, propelled the sport into the mainstream. In 1989, the now world-famous New Zealander A.J. Hackett opened the world’s first commercial bungee jumping location in Queenstown, New Zealand.

bungee jumping Europabrucke

Bungee jumping at Europabrucke, Innsbruck, Austria

What equipment is used in bungee jumping?

The amount of equipment required for this sport is minimal, with the participant only needed to bring appropriate footwear.

The bungee site will supply the specially designed braided shock cord you will be connected to, the leg and body harness you will be wearing, connected to the bungee cord and a helmet may be required at some destinations.

Don’t be skeptical of the location if you don’t spot a harness, as some bungee sites simply connect jumpers to the bungee cord via the ankles, whilst others use a harness. You can rest assured, knowing both pieces of equipment keep you secure:

Bungee Cord: A specially designed and made cord made from tightly woven strands of rubber. With different strengths and thicknesses available, different bungee sites opt for slightly varying cords. This cord will have recoil when you reach a certain point before you reach the ground.

Harnesses: The harnesses are worn around the thighs, waist, chest, and shoulders, with the bungee cord connected at the front to both of these pieces of the harness.

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bungee jumping Stockhorn

Bungee jumping Stockhorn, Interlaken, Switzerland

What will I do?


Arrive at the bungee site at least an hour before your slot, this will give you time to take in the surroundings, watch the people before you jump and get acquainted with the instructors and have a safety briefing.

Before the jump, you will be weighed so that the operators set up the particular rope you will use. After attaching your harnesses and rope and checking everything is secure and safe, you’ll then be ready to jump!

During the activity:

Relax, stretch your arms out, bend your knees and jump into the void. Enjoy the sensation of the freefall, it will only last a couple of seconds, and then the rope will be fully stretched and the elastic will recoil and bring you back up slightly and you will swing momentarily at the end of the rope until you are either lowered down to a specially-made landing area airbag, platform or even a boat sometimes (dependent on the location) or lifted back up to the spot you jumped from.


After having your harnesses detached from the rope and the harness subsequently taken off, you’ll be able to relax and think back on the incredible bungee jumping experience you’ve just had!

bungee jumping Sentosa

Bungee jumping Sentosa, Singapore

Who can do bungee jumping?

Bungee jumping is an inclusive, accessible sport, able to be tried by people with reduced mobility, amputees or visitors with partial paralysis. If you have any doubts about whether yourself or one of your group can participate in bungee jumping, it is highly recommended to speak to the staff at the bungee site that you intend to visit beforehand.

Min. and max. weights:

Rules vary for different bungees, but the general minimum weight for bungee jumping is 35/40kg. The maximum weight again differs between sites but is generally around 145/150kg.

Pregnant women:

Bungee jumping unfortunately is not recommended for women who are pregnant.

Health requirements:

Generally the participant must be in good health, if you suffer with epilepsy, joint problems or heart disease you may not be allowed to participate. It is worth checking with the bungee site you’re planning on visiting ahead of booking to see their individual policy on health requirements if you are unsure.

Other rules:

It is also worth noting that it is not advised for bungee participants to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, as they may not be permitted to participate. This sport requires a high level of engagement and attention to the safety instructions provided by instructors.

bridge swing Barcelona

Bridge Swinging near Barcelona, Spain

Variations of bungee

This exhilarating sport has a number of equally exciting variations such as bridge and canyon swings and sky jumping.

Bridge Swing: This is offered at a number of bridges around the world, bridge swinging is a variation of bungee jumping in that you still jump from a bridge but the type of rope is different and you swing rather than freefall.

Canyon swing: Similar to bridge swinging, though instead of jumping from a bridge, you jump from the side of a canyon. Canyon swinging is like cliff jumping, but you’re attached to a rope.

Sky jump: A sky jump is a controlled fall from a large height. The participant has a wire attached to them as they ‘fall’ at a controlled speed. Unlike bungee jumping, there’s no recoil of the wire and most sky jumps will end on a landing platform at the bottom of the tower that you jump from.

For more information about this exhilarating sport, check out our bungee jumping articles.

Source https://www.bravethinkinginstitute.com/blog/life-transformation/bungee-jumping-story

Source https://blog.manawa.com/en/outdoor-activities/bungee-jumping/the-complete-guide-to-bungee-jumping/


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