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The number one tip I can provide for a successful bungee jump is:

JUMP!

Provided you’ve chosen a reputable company to jump with, are of age, have paid or plan to pay (none of this jump-and-dash nonsense … or, as it’s called in the bungee jumping community, jump-and-jump), and meet all of the physical and health requirements.

Anyway, although it has been 5-ish years since my bungee jumping experience off of Bloukrans Bridge in South Africa, the time that has passed has revealed a few more ways in which this activity serves as a metaphor for other aspects of life (surrender, faith, taking the plunge, all that good stuff). Whether you are planning on literally bungee jumping, or are simply interested in the metaphor, here are a few suggestions to make the experience a little bit smoother.

1. To reiterate my first tip: just jump!

It requires a bit of mindlessness, because the more you think about it, the scarier it gets. The folks that were assisting me, who strapped me in and walked me to the edge, counted backwards from three (or from one to three? I just watched the footage but the audio is very unclear) and at that moment, my attention was 100% dedicated to the bodily action of jumping the MOMENT they shouted “three” (… or one). I couldn’t afford to hesitate for a single second after the countdown–I just focused on jumping, knowing I was safe.

2. Don’t stay up late the night before watching videos of people’s fearful reactions right before they bungee jump ..

Some research is good, for example, reading articles like this one! At some point, though, overly researching a subject can become obsessive, and a form of fear-porn, in a way. Perhaps this is more applicable to the empathetic and sensitive variety of people–if this describes you, then seeing other people’s reactions and expressions of emotion causes you to feel the same way. Don’t do this to yourself! Visualize yourself completing the jump with a sense of grace and ease, and save the ridiculous videos for after you’ve already done it!

Demonstrating air yoga

3. Do some air yoga!

That’s right, you heard me! I don’t mean yoga in the sense of crazy contortionist poses. I mean: breathe, embrace the fall instead of flapping wildly to resist it, and keep your body in gentle alignment by not craning your neck too much. I will say that one of the risks of bungee jumping is mild whiplash, and that risk can be reduced if you’re not craning your neck wildly to look around.

4. Relish the scenery

Whether you’re jumping from Bloukrans Bridge or the Stratosphere in Las Vegas, you are getting a view of your surroundings that you likely won’t get any other way. I’m not sure how other companies handle getting you unstrapped, but with Face Adrenalin, they let you hang there for a minute before someone comes down to get you. Take in the scenery while you can! Whether it’s a green or an urban space, you are getting a unique perspective.

These are some tips to get you ready for your jump, and there are plenty of other resources out there to help you prepare.

Hope you enjoyed!