Clic Sargent is a charity that specialises in helping children with cancer and on Sunday gone they held another of their amazing charity events at the Middlesbrough Transporter Bridge.
It was a two fold event involving volunteers raising cash through sponsorship and donations by bungee jumping or abseiling from the topmost platform of the bridge and plunging headfirst earthward or gently drifting down flimsy ropes 160 feet to the ground.
My role originally was to be one of recording the event photographically, but on the day I was persuaded to come down via the rope in full abseiling gear, and never being a one to disappoint a lady, I said yes.
There were people of all ages queuing up to jump or float majestically down all with cash for the charity, making it a very successful day, raising a grand total of £10,000. The experience was incredible, the most difficult part being the climb to the top, there was over 200 metal steps and landings to negotiate, with each landing giving you a small respite and a chance to suck some air back into the gasping lungs.
At the top the wind blew hard and felt chilly on the face, and was strong enough for the bungee jump to be cancelled. Fully kitted with harness, abseiling rope and a safety rope, quick instructions were once again repeated and then, the gate opened and the abyss fell away before me. Luckily I’m not afraid of heights and have nerves of steel, the instructor actually asked me how many had I done this, and was amazed to hear that it was my first, my confidence showed through.
The first step into nothing was hard to comprehend, and actually difficult, putting your trust in a rope, no matter how well made or how strong, is an act of faith that doesn’t come easy.
A second later I kicked off from the thick blue metal girder and gravity drew me slowly to the ground, I relaxed the right handed grip upon the rope allowing the cable to pass quickly through the metal control ring, I gathered speed and was amazed at how easy it was to control my descent, a minute or whatever later, I gently touched down, to a rapturous applause from the assembled masses, received my certificate and felt really good inside.