After yesterday’s high energy shoot with Nickelodeon and three young stars I was kinda good to keep my feet on the ground today. I had shizz to do and it was raining. Staying in the office would have been just fine; head down, work mode on, cuppa tea on my desk – tra la la la, it’s Friday …
But I knew I had to get in the Bungy mix as we had another shoot planned. The RSPCA were coming to film on site – did this mean PUPPIES?! 🐶
Nah, sadly it didn’t. And while I hoped for puppies, lots of puppies, I wasn’t surprised when they didn’t turn up.
Silence at the disco
However, I WAS surprised by how quiet the RSPCA gang were on arrival – were they not excited??!
I could sense the pure dread in the faces around me as I gave my intro-talk to the site. I promised them wholeheartedly; they were in the ”safest hands in the world” and with ”over 4 million safe jumps completed globally, in nearly 30 years of operating” they would be 110% fine.
These facts appeared to fall on deaf ears – even me offering to ”jump tandem with whoever wants support” didn’t conjure up much positivity.
By this point I was a little stumped but completely understanding – they just needed a moment to gather their thoughts right? They’d be fine surely? I couldn’t bear the thought of a day of filming falling flat on its butt 😳
… Then suddenly everything started to become clear …
The 8 guests on site were completely surprised to be there!. They were at AJ’s because they had all raised so much money for RSPCA Queensland (over $10,000 each!!!) … the RSCPA QLD team were treating them to a ‘Mystery trip’ and making a documentary out of their experience!
When one of the RSPCA team explained ”They didn’t know they were coming here – they arrived blindfolded” it all made sense!!
Ok – so these awesome fundraisers were just about coming to terms with where they were … it was Bungy Jumping time!!
Tears up top
Once I knew what was fully going on I made my way up the Bungy tower. Everyone was there but they were still pretty quiet – it was abundantly clear that the shock of the surprise visit to AJ’s had not sunk in yet.
One lady, Jo, wanted me to tandem jump with her – I LOVE doing tandem’s – it brings so much more to the experience of a Bungy. One of my most memorable to date was with a teeny 12 year old Indian girl – she jumped silently the whole way (and I’m pretty sure she had her eyes closed the whole time too bless her!). Anyways, back to today! …
I introduced myself to Jo and went about my usual business; chatting to everyone and filming for AJ’s social media pages as everyone jumped / prepped themselves to go. The atmosphere started to pick up a bit, as everyone took faith from watching their fellow group-mates go before them …
I kept a little eye on Jo but didn’t realise until it was nearly our time to jump just how genuinely afraid she was. Her eyes fired up with tears and she started crying on the deck – this was new territory to me.
I’ve seen so many people buzzed-up and loud / being silly and shouting to overcome fear but real tears coming from eyes that looked like they couldn’t fathom what was happening was something else!
Praying to AJ …
I chatted to Jo but didn’t want to crowd her, I hugged her a couple of times, patted her on the back and reassured her she would be ok.
Her breathing went in-between normal to fraught. Her face remained the same; white as a sheet and angst with concern.
Looking at Jo, all I knew was I had to get her off the deck somehow. I told her it would be ”one of the best things she would ever do” and I fully believed that. It just had to happen.
Just before we stepped through the gate to start getting our foot ties on she stopped, put her head back and hyperventilated a little bit. As you can see the pic above, it almost looks like we were praying together – I suppose we were by that point …
For the most part, I was holding back tears myself. I am super in-tune with the energy of others and Jo was making me feel overwhelmed. I just wanted her to DO IT – knowing full well she would be so proud of herself.
The pictures below tell a funny story as I don’t remember laughing much – I remember cracking jokes with Boris (AJ’s Bungy legend!) to try and lighten the pressure on Jo but mainly my focus was on making sure she was ok.
Sick with fear
When it came to the jump I explained; we hold onto each other (arms around each other’s waist) and we just go on the countdown. It doesn’t matter how we go, as long as we go! Jo looked at me – and looked like she believed me – but also it was obvious that fear firmly had her its clutches.
It was time to shuffle to the top of the world …
We stepped forward together, I remember thinking ”Just get her off, she’ll be fine”.
As we shimmied to the edge Jo said ”I’m going to be sick”. I was stumped – if she pukes it’s going on me for sure! Ok, sick accepted – that might happen. Still have to get her off this deck …
Trust in me
When we stepped to the edge Jo said ”No I can’t!” on the countdown and clung onto the rail behind. Bear in mind we are connected (by our feet!) … If one of us moves without the other one it can make for a rocky ride on the ledge! …
This was when the going got rough – had we come this far and fear had beaten us? Was this going to be Jo’s memory of Bungy Jumping – that she couldn’t do it?! PLEASE NO.
As our Crew reassured her and counted down again, I said again ”You got this, you’re with me, you just gotta go”
Again we were counted down. As this happened my legs were shaking – I was ready first time round … I had never had to wait on deck before, it was a weird feeling for me, to be held back attached to another. But Jo’s feelings came before mine – she was important, not me. Still have to get her off this deck …
Visions of me jumping off and Jo staying on deck flashed through my mind – but this wasn’t fear for me – it was merely a chaos cartoon zipping through my head in a nano-second.
Because the next moment it was ‘‘Go, go, go!” and we were gone.
Please watch the video below to get the full feels of the journey I have just described. Honestly – I feel privileged to have jumped with Jo today. I have never seen fear like that before. It was surreal. Goodness knows how Jo felt inside but from what I could see from the outside, she overcame the mountain of a lifetime.
When Jo had first pulled back – myself and our two deck Crew; Aaron and Boris all forged together as one. I don’t know if they felt this too but for me it was a raw moment. There was a huge force between us – we all wanted Jo to go for it and we knew we were nearly there.
What a time to be alive
The free fall was epic, so loud! Jo has some lungs on her!
As we rebounded we had a massive hug and Jo burst out crying, saying it was one of the best things she’s ever done and thanking me for jumping with her.
The RSPCA were filming all arvo and the show should be aired in about 3 months time – I cannot WAIT to see Jo’s story come to life on screen. It was an experience I will never forget.
The saying ‘Feel the fear and do it anyway’ has never meant so much, or been more true, to me as it has today. I hope this post convey’s what happened on deck as it was special!
Thank you Jo for letting me jump with you – you’re amazing and how ace is it that we shared that epic memory together?! I will treasure it for life!
Thank you for reading – please watch the video (with sound up!) and enjoy the breakthrough journey!
Sometimes you just gotta GO!