That Time I Jumped Off The Pier | Bournemouth

24 October 2017


Hello!

And before you ask, I was harnessed in, don't worry!

As I'm sure you're very aware, last month I flew down to Bournemouth to visit my lovely friend, hannah. There wasn't too much planned for our time there, but it was going to be a mix of a pre-birthday celebration as well as me just needing a little break from all things work related. It was nice, and I had a lot of fun!


We took a walk to the beach one day, and that's where I spotted it. A tower located at the end of the pier, attached to the beach via a zipline. Essentially, you get to fly over the sea and back onto land. It looked really cool, and I instantly knew I wanted a shot.

I stay 'instantly'. I really wanted to. But I've got a slight fear of things like this. I really wanted to do it, and it was all that I could talk about, so,  I contemplated about it over a few days, until hannah suggested that I book myself a slot online. So, I did. Sunday 24th September. 4.30pm. The countdown was on.

It was the night before that I made the booking, and I double checked that the time was okay with hannah before I made my payment. Was I really paying £18 to jump off a pier? What if I got to the top and I freaked out? I have a fear of heights... Well, more so the idea of falling from a height. The fact that 'death' was mentioned as a possibility (very small, but always needs to be put into a risk assessment legally) had me panicking a little bit, but hannah did calm me down a lot and in no time at all, it was Sunday.




Because we had some time to kill in the morning, hannah and Tom got started on a photoshoot for hannah's blog post (go have a read, you know you want to.) while I helped (I held her jacket and anything not essential to the pictures) all the while admiring my hair, makeup and outfit that I'd chosen for that day. It's honestly become my go-to outfit at the moment, but it also gives me 2010-era Gail vibes. I really need to shake up my fashion sense.

We chilled for a little bit after this, and then it was time to head to the beach. Doomsday was here.

There's a pier toll, that I paid, so that hannah could get some photos for me for this post while Tom stationed himself at the end of the zipline to get some pictures from a different angle (Shoutout to hannah and Tom and their joint blog, Dayvelle, for taking the pictures! Much love to you guys <3 Social media links will be at the bottom!) as I got on the pier for free because I had a booked slot for the zipline. The time was roughly 4.15pm.

I got myself checked in, and popped all my belongings into a box, including my hat, because I didn't want to lose my hat. Also my phone, because I didn't want to risk losing it forever to Poseidon while trying to take a selfie, and got harnessed up, and had my helmet fitted. Then I made my walk over to the tower.

There was a lot more stairs than I'd anticipated, and in hindsight, I really wished I'd started counting. It was like as soon as I thought I'd reached the top, there was just more and more stairs and I could feel my heart beating faster and faster. At this point I feel I should clarify what I thought was going to happen. I thought the zipline would be like the ones you get at playparks, where you sit on a chair and go zooming off to the other side. I thought that I'd just kept missing the chair being lifted back up to the top, as if there was a pully system in place that I just wasn't seeing. I'm sure you see where this is going.




I got to the top. There was no chair. I got clipped in. I was being reassured that it was okay, but I wasn't okay. I was being led closer and closer to the edge. The guy radioed over to the guys at the bottom to make sure it was clear and then he opened the gate.

"Jump on 3."
"No, I'm not ready."

We were getting closer to the edge.

"Yes, you are"
"No, I'm not ready"
"Yes, you are"

His hand was on my back, and I knew that if I didn't jump then he'd give me a nudge. The time wasn't yet 4.30pm. hannah and Tom were expecting my jump at 4.30pm. Were they even prepared for me? Where was hannah even standing? I couldn't see her at all! I could see Tom. I could see the fair ground ride directly below me, which could be my cause of death if I'm not harnessed in correctly.

"1. 2. 3"






I jumped, and as soon as I left that edge, I relaxed. I felt free. My anxiety was gone as I was flying closer and closer to the beach, over the sea. I saw hannah, and I waved. As soon as I saw her, I was gone, closer and closer and then I had to brace for impact as I landed. Because I'm so short as well, one of the guys had to pull me up by my feet, but it was over. They did make conversation with me though, and they asked if I was Irish (genuinely, a first for me.) and I said my goodbyes then made way to Tom to talk briefly before heading back to get my harness off and collect my belongings. On my way I passed hannah and posed for a few more pictures. Turns out that she wasn't ready for me to jump off, as I expected but she did manage to get a few pictures for me, so thank you!

I'd do this again. Now that I know what to expect, it was really fun! This year I've been trying to tackle this fear of falling. When I did snowboarding for the first time, it took me about an hour before I learned how to do a turn on the slope, and now I can do it without even thinking too much about it. I'm getting there. I've also been thinking more and more about skydiving (I blame Point Break tbh) but that's ... Not very likely to happen very soon. Or possibly even ever in my lifetime.

Never say never though, eh?

Have you ever done anything like this? Or contemplated it? How was your experience of it?

Until next time, be excellent to each other.


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