By Ed Jessie
As she crept to the side of the bridge, she peered over with nervous anxiousness. Beads of sweat rolled down her brow. She stood on the edge, staring into the chasm below.
With eyes tightly shut and heart pounding, she leapt from safety, into the abyss. Adrenaline filled her body as she plummeted toward the jagged rocks hundreds of feet below.
Then, with only seconds before impact, her downward momentum was miraculously reversed. She catapulted back toward the sky.
A failed suicide attempt?
No. This was Tashia Laird's first try at bungee jumping. "My whole life flashed before me while I was falling," says Laird, a freshman at U of O. "Then my mind cleared and there was nothing. Everything was blank. It was too intense for words."
Those who have not experienced bungee jumping give mixed reactions. The majority of the people interviewed at U of O, wanted to try it, but complained of the great expense which accompanies jumping - average 1 jump cost - $45.
Some people who had not jumped expressed no desire to try it. "It's too scary, I'm a chicken," says LCC student Mark Smith.
"The sport is extremely safe," claims John Mayer, CO-owner of Bungee Masters Inc. (BMI). According to TIME magazine, there have only been three reported deaths, and none of the incidents took place in the United States.
Bolstering his claim, Mayer says BMI uses at least four bungee cords rated at 1,500 pounds per cord. In addition to the bungees, he uses a safety line tested at 14,000 pounds, used to reel the jumpers back up after they take their plunge.
He says all cords are attached to a full body harness via multiple carabiniers tested at over 6,000 pounds each. The body harness itself has a load capacity of 10,000 pounds. Since each cord is attached separately, it is virtually impossible for the jumper to become disconnected.
Over 90 percent of the people interviewed wanted to jump. Everyone who has already jumped, wants to again.
For about the same cost as a ski trip to Mt. Hood, you too can enjoy the adrenaline rush of a near-death experience.
Contact Bungee Masters Inc. at (503) 520-0303, for more information.