"Are you out of your mind?!"
"Could be. But it's been on my bucket list for years now, and it was too good a deal to pass up."
Walt turned the brochure over his hand, shaking his head. “I wouldn't do it for free." He's snorted." You couldn't pay me enough to go bungee jumping.”
I shrugged. "Well you can have your bucket list and I'm going to have mine."
Handing the brochure back to me, Walt shook his head once more and said “You're nuts” and walked out of the room.
We didn't talk about it for the rest the week. There was enough going on to distract us: sales reports, staff meetings, and a baby shower for one of the sales reps. On Friday afternoon, I walked back into my office after a long meeting and saw a cryptic message on my whiteboard.
Whatever you do, don't die. See you Monday.
Deep inside, I was not as cavalier about the bungee jumping adventure as I had might've seemed to Walt. I’m afraid of heights, and I sure don't want to die. But bit by bit I had overcome my acrophobia, first on roller coasters, then on bridges, and most recently on airplanes. The arrival of the bungee jumping brochure in my mailbox had seemed serendipitous. With my 50th birthday coming up, what better way to celebrate then to face my biggest fear and jump off into the void?
Saturday morning found me standing on a bridge, the instructor at my side, surrounded by a small nervous group of would-be bungee jumpers. But I was going to go first. We already had our orientation, seen some videos, and supposedly we were ready for the big adventure. I took a deep breath, leaned forward, and was off. If you have never plummeted through the air, you can only imagine what it was like. It was scary as hell — and exciting. Just when you thought you were going to slam onto the surface of the water, you were being pulled back into the air, and coming down again, and up and down, and up, and finally down. I was screaming my head off the whole time. First it was absolutely a scream of fear, but by the end I was whooping with joy. What a rush!
I couldn't wait to get to the office Monday morning and tell Walt all about it. But when I got there the somber faces told me something terrible has happened. Walter had tripped on his shoelaces and fallen down the stairs at his house. Died instantly.
I stumbled into my office and sat at my desk, staring at the computer. On a whim, I searched “odds of dying from accidental injuries”. It turns out that your chances of dying while bungee jumping is one in 500,000. Probability of dying from falling down stairs: one in 1,797.
Spending the weekend at home? Whatever you do, don't die. See you Monday.