As an adrenaline junky and extreme sports enthusiast; I encourage activities that include lapses of free-falling. That’s why I felt so compelled to write about the 36th annual Bridge Day in Fayetteville, West Virginia.
This event attracted an estimated 400 jumpers and 10,000 spectators to the 800 foot drop of the New River Gorge bridge. One after one, the jumpers stepped off the edge of the bridge to commence their free fall.
What is BASE jumping and why would anyone ever do it?
Well, let’s explain the easy part first.
B.A.S.E stands for buildings, antennas, spans, and earth. The latter of the two meaning bridges and cliffs. The basic idea is that the jumper climbs to the top of one of the four mentioned and jumps off of it with a parachute. Jumps are usually under 1600 ft and speeds can reach up to 120 mph – Dang!
When questioned whether BASE diving was worth dying for one anonymous jumper explained, “BASE Jumping isn’t worth dying for, but it is worth risking dying for.”
One jumper from New River Gorge explained that BASE jumping feels like “nothing else in the world is a thought that goes through your brain, it’s just pure serenity.” Another jumper said that she could “convince myself to do pretty much anything,” if she could convince herself “to do something like this (meaning BASE jumping).”
Most people probably won’t BASE jump in their lives, but I know I will.