On the Road: Jumping Off Buildings

I start off the day excited walking down the Vegas strip with the sun shining and the glare of the reflective buildings in my eyes. Vegas during the day is an interesting place as at no point ever is it empty; the star spangled, happy-go-lucky, good time seekers and general night time people are replaced by strained parents dragging along their happy and curious children, fresh off the bus young adults, the hungover zombies on a epic quest for bacon…and us. The two stupid people about to climb a building and fall off it. Yeah as you may have guessed by the title, I went to Vegas and jumped off a building…

The building: the stratosphere is a tower, hotel and casino located on Las Vegas Boulevard a short walk north from the strip. The tower is 1,149ft (350.2m) and is the tallest free-standing observation tower in the US and the tallest in the western hemisphere second only to the CN tower in Toronto.  The top of the tower has two observation decks and three rollercoaster rides; insanity, big shot and X-scream. It also has the..
Skyjump: a 885ft freefall from the top of the stratosphere that allows the riders to fall from the to

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Walking up the stairs I felt calm but excited; it’s a ride and lots of people do it, it will of course be fine. You walk into a little room with various skyjump paraphernalia on the walls and a tv screen showing pictures and videos of the crazy people who have done the jump before. You pay and then you get to be dressed in this jazzy blue jumpsuit and bright yellow harness that will attach you to the rope whose only purpose is to keep you on course. You are asked to empty everything from your pockets, take out earrings and tie your shoes really tight and then you are escorted up in the lift to the 108 th floor. You stand on the observation deck and wait; you can watch people doing it before you and I got the chance to laugh and cheer on my friend as she dropped hundreds of feet below me. Then you are called forward and get to meet the lovely people whose hands you are putting your life into. Strapped up and ready to go they take some cheery pics and lead you to the edge where you are to told to hold onto the railings on either side and shuffle to the edge where half your feet and you hang off. Looking down below you can see a bullseye where you are expected to land, the strip, the road with lots of tiny cars and dots that must be people and also someone’s swimming pool…stop being distracted your supposed to be listening to the lovely women!
“and then you’ll turn your body, brace your knees and then you’ll land on your feet”
You drop 885ft and land on your feet which is pretty cool to me, I was so excited and ready to go, no problem I thought.
“1..2…3…let go.”
“let go?”
“Yeah, just let go.”

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I was startled by this sudden change and need for action and that’s when my heart raced and my fingers froze up…The adrenaline junkie idiot part of my brain was excited and eager to jump, the rationale part knew it was all ok but that survival side of me wouldn’t let my fingers uncurl no matter how much I willed them to, nice to know it works though right. That’s the thing with this is there is no push or jump; you simply have to have the courage to let go. A deep breath and another quick self countdown and I was free falling. The fall itself is not scary as its so quick. A quick skip of the heart, adrenaline rush thoroughly kicking in and the happiest and calmest feeling I think I’ve ever felt and a stunning view of the strip rushing towards me and that was it. Too close to the bottom you catch seamlessly on the harness and begin to descend rather than fall as the bullseye gets bigger and bigger. A man who was a dot moments ago signals you to turn and then a quick short bump your standing on the hard concrete once again
I felt so happy that I’d done it and so proud that a moment of fear? Survival instinct? Whatever it was hadn’t stopped me from experiencing those seconds of exhilaration. Definitely one for the bucket list and a good Vegas activity, I would love to go back and do it at night. Plus I left with a nice certificate that declares nobody can call me a chicken or anything to that affect, a discount to do it again, some nice pictures and a big grin on my face…

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