Inspiration, determination, perseverance, positivity, ingenuity, teamwork, a great perspective on life and a little bit of luck are all it takes to start your own business (among other things like money and stuff). For my good buddy James Scott, these things come pretty easy.
When he first told me about his idea to bring a bungee jumping business to Bend, Oregon, I thought, “THAT’S AWESOME!!!” However, I realized that these things tend to catch flak like a trawling net catches shrimp. In today’s society, things that are different, adventurous and maybe a little dangerous are looked at in a negative light.
James’ determination and perseverance were enough to overcome the legal and political red tape of operating the highest bungee jump in North America at 300 ft above the Crooked River in the Crooked River Canyon at Peter Skene Ogden State Park.
With opening weekend coming up, I made plans to head down and support my good friend.
When I arrived I was stoked to see how well everything was going. The team operated like a Swiss clock, yet I admit I was a bit nervous about the whole thing. Usually when I hurl myself off of an object, I have the security of a parachute that I assembled and packed. With this, in my head at least, I just have this big rubber band to save me from crashing into the river and rocks below!
After getting rigged up, I left my apprehension on the deck of the bridge and gave a big push off. Watching James, Mehama and Jackson zoom out of view as I accelerated downward was awesome.
I finally rebounded for the first time and did something completely foreign to me: I started accelerating back up to the object I just leapt from! This continued a few more times until things settled down, and James lowered the retrieval line to me.
My perspective from a hundred feet above the river was amazing. With the canyon walls all around me, the bridge above me and the river 100 feet below me, I had a complete 360 degree spherical view of this amazing canyon.
I took a few minutes to soak it all in before arriving back to the deck and giving James a big bear hug (with the size of James, these are the only kinds of hugs you can effectively give him!).
I gave myself a few minutes to let the stoke wear off. One would think that skiing, flying, paddling and jumping all over the world would dull your senses to this type of thing. Quite the contrary. I get just as excited, and the stoke and inspiration flow just as hard as the first time.
This life is the gift that keeps on giving. I’m just so glad to be able to share this wonderful gift with so many beautiful people.