When I was twenty three years old (so…11 years ago at this point), I decided that in order to make my life complete, I needed to jump off a bridge. I’m not sure exactly why I decided this but after probably 30 seconds of close examination, I determined that it was quite necessary.
I had just had my second ACL reconstruction (third knee surgery overall).
I found out from my then-neighbors that not too far west of town there is a train bridge off which people jump. So I went there. And sure enough, there were hordes of people jumping off the bridge, into the Truckee River.
After watching several people jump off the bridge and land in the river some 50 feet below I was still convinced that this was something I needed to do. So I asked one of the people who had jumped once and then had come back up to jump for a second time for some advice because, although I wanted to jump off the bridge, I am also an enormous scardy-cat and was pretty much crapping in my pants.
The advice I got was something like this: “Ok, you climb up onto the rail and then jump in. But see where the water is swirling over there to the left? You don’t want to jump there. It’s too shallow. You’ll break your legs. And see where the water is swirling over there to the right? You don’t want to jump there either. It’s shallow there too. And you definitely don’t want to jump on that rock straight ahead. All you have to do is jump straight down in that area right there. See it? Between the swirling water but not on top of the rock. Oh, and try to go in feet first otherwise it will hurt.”
And still I wanted to jump off the bridge.
I climbed up the 3 foot railing and stood on top.
I got nervous and climbed back down onto the bridge.
I climbed up again.
I chickened out again.
Then the train came by. Apparently it’s illegal to be standing on a train bridge. So everyone scrambled out of the way. And once the train had passed, back up onto the tracks I went.
I climbed back up onto the railing again. And I jumped.
I jumped. Off a bridge. Into a river. ON PURPOSE.
I accidentally landed on my butt. The advice giver was right – it hurt. And not only that but it gave me the most intense wedgie I’ve ever had.
As I retell this story, I can’t help but think of my life now where the most adventurous thing I do is make a trip to Costco WITHOUT A LIST!