BASE JUMP AT THE PERRINE BRIDGE
I’ve never been so nervous about a base jump in my life. But for the first time, I wasn’t worried about the jump itself. What had me anxious was the fact that I finally got my mom to support my love for BASE, and if something goes wrong while she’s watching, I would have to live with that forever.
It was Labor Day weekend and with the thought of all the workers that helped build the America we have today, I knew I had to take this to another level. After stopping at a Bear Conservation Park on our drive from Yellowstone to Twin Falls, I oh-so-casually tell my mom, Michelle Leibert, “I’m going to need you to do me a favor. I need you to hold my pilot chute while I jump off the Perrine Bridge.”
Her first response was an absolute and resounding NO. She asked me to have my dad do it, have my girlfriend do, anybody but her. I said, “Mom, it would mean a lot and would be an amazing experience for you to enjoy with me, Come on mom, please?” To my utter surprise, she hesitantly agreed to it.
She agreed on Sunday, the day before the jump. We were in route in two separate motor homes. The entire drive all I could think about was what I had asked her to do and that she was actually going to do it! I love BASE jumping, I love what it stands for. But what meant the most was the thought of my mom, dad, and best friend Sandra being there for something that means so much to me. It was heart-warming and terrifying at the same time.
As the morning sun broke the horizon, we made the final push to Twin Falls. When we arrived at the visitor center next to the bridge, I walked over to my mom and asked her, “Mom are you ready for this?” She looked at me and said “OK, let’s do it”. We walked over to the packing area and I inspected my equipment and went through the motions. I even had Sean Chuma come over and make sure that we were doing everything safe. I was finally all geared up and we started the walk under the bridge and up the stairs, when the view of the Canyon floor finally came into view.
My mom is not one to show her insecurities or fears but it was well apparent what she was thinking about as she walked along the bridge in silence. As we made our way to the exit point, I turned around and gave her a good hug and said, “I love you”. She said she loved me too. I replied, “I really hope you do, because don’t let go or I’ll die” and we both laughed nervously.
I climbed over the bridge railing and took my stance. I asked my mom once more if she was ready. She looked me in the eyes and nodded yes. I started the countdown. Along with the typical nervous emotions that come with jumping off a bridge, I was additionally overwhelmed with all the emotions from the amazing experience. My birthday was the week before; it was labor day; this was the final hoorah of a 3 week road trip together. I took a deep breath and gave my countdown.
“3….2…1.. Zero fucks given!!”, and I jumped.
I heard the all too familiar sound of my canopy cracking open. I looked up and saw my red white and blue canopy and I knew that we just experienced something amazing together that few people on earth will ever get to enjoy; being PCA’s by their mom during a BASE jump.