Coming back up

Have you ever done any extreme sports? Are you an adrenaline junkie? Read this story about one man facing his fear.

Do the preparation task first. Then read the story and do the exercise.

So we’re driving along, a road in the middle of nowhere, a few trees now and then on each side of the road, mountains in the distance, there hasn’t been a town for ages and then you see this sign, not really a proper sign at all, just a piece of card with some words scribbled on it: ‘Bungee Jumping, 5km’, and an arrow pointing to the left. I can’t even see a road going left, and there’s certainly no sign of any bungee jumping, but you insist, the idea has taken you, you’re crazy about it, you’ve always wanted to do bungee jumping. I know, you think I’m boring because I don’t want to go.

‘Go on!’ you insist. ‘We don’t even have to do the bungee jumping, we can just go there and see what’s happening. It’ll be interesting!’ As usual, you get your way. I give in and off we go along this dirt road, for what seems much more than five kilometres to me. But then, after driving for ages, suddenly, out of nowhere, some trees appear, like a small wood.

‘This must be the place,’ you say. The road narrows into just a path, so we pull over to the side of the road. I couldn’t drive down there if I wanted to. As soon as we’re out of the car we can hear voices: people shouting and laughing. They sound like young people, they sound like they’re having a good time.

We slowly walk to where the noise and people are. In the middle of the wood there’s a group of about 20 people. The youngest are about 15 or 16, while some of them are perhaps in their late 20s.

They look up and see us, then say hello to us. They’re polite, friendly even, but I feel like we’re interrupting a private party – gatecrashing something they’re doing.

Once there had been a river running through the middle of the forest, but now there was just a dry ditch. It doesn’t matter; nobody is interested in swimming. A metal bridge crosses the ditch. The bridge doesn’t look too stable. I think the kids had built it themselves. There’s a big group of the kids in the middle of the bridge. They’re all leaning over and looking down into the ditch. They’re all shouting and laughing. Another person is hanging from a long piece of elastic rope in the middle of the ditch. He is laughing like he is mad. The other people slowly pull him up to the bridge. As the guy comes to the top he looks exhilarated and shocked, but also very, very happy.

I look at you and can see what you’re thinking.

‘I want to do that!’ you say. I knew it. And you know what I want to say: ‘Danger!!! Damage to internal organs! Safety procedures! Damage to your eyes! The rope can burn you! You can get tangled up in the rope! You can dislocate your arm or your leg! It’s certain that you will get bruises on your arms! What happens if the rope breaks? Who knows who these people are? Have you any idea how far away from a hospital we are?’ I don’t say it, but, yes, you’re right, I am thinking it. I don’t say anything, because I know that you won’t have answers for any of my questions. You know that I’m right, really.

You’ve always been a lot more adventurous than me. I know you think I’m boring and safe and always worried about danger and risk.

Perhaps you’re right. Perhaps I am too boring.

I don’t know why people do it. I really don’t know. I remember when I was a kid, my friend had a bicycle that had no brakes. We used to take his bike without brakes and go down a big hill on it. I think about that, that old bike so many years ago, and I remember how I felt then.

I breathe in, close my eyes, don’t think about anything. I jump. I think I’m going forever and wonder when I’ll stop. But it feels great. I feel scared and thrilled and alive. Then there’s a pull and I’m going back up again, and, yes, it is dangerous, but, yes, it is thrilling. But the most exciting, thrilling, wonderful thing of all is seeing your face as I come back up to the bridge.

Chris Rose

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Language level

Submitted by Emily Mellor on Mon, 19/07/2021 - 10:23

I've never done bungee jumping. But I've tried to ride bicycle. It was an adventure for me at first. I felt frightened when someone didn't hold my bicycle. It's really thrilling.

Submitted by RezaMoradzadeh… on Mon, 08/03/2021 - 12:04

i think that it is so exciting to experience moments like this . i think that we need to jump in our life too , because the braves one who are the champion .

Submitted by Aye Chan Moe on Thu, 18/02/2021 - 07:18

I have never done Bungee jumping

Submitted by Wevellyn on Fri, 22/01/2021 - 23:52

I've never done something like bungee jumping, but I feel like doing.

Submitted by Eda on Sun, 17/01/2021 - 11:53

It was snowing when I was in primary school. My friends were sliding down the slope. It looked so excited. Then I slipped too. I thought you would never stop. I didn't want to slide again when it stopped.

Submitted by ilayda muduroglu on Sun, 17/01/2021 - 11:17

When I was a little boy, therewas a high place in the garden of my relative's house. I went out there. Then when my friends jumped, I wanted to jump too. But I also didn't want it. Then I decided and jumped. I was a beaitiful feeling. It was amazing.

Submitted by gracemetni on Thu, 14/01/2021 - 16:13

I have never done bungee jumping. I tried to do it once but I was so afraid . Young people there tried to encourage me but I couldn't! It's really scaring and thrilling!

Submitted by Thinthinmyoe on Sat, 12/12/2020 - 07:43

I have never done any spots like Bungee Jumping.When I was a child, I rode the roller coaster with my friends.I felt great, thrilling and wonderful with fear.I can never forget this experience.After watching the Korean Drama series of "Crushed landing on you", I wanted to ride the paraglide.I think it will be very exciting and exhilarating.

Submitted by BlaiChan on Thu, 03/12/2020 - 03:53

No, I've never done it before but I've experienced riding a roller coaster. It was 2 year ago, we went on a picnic to the park. Suddenly one of us came up with this idea to have a go of riding the roller coaster. It still scares me to death when i'm thinking about it.

Submitted by kittygalaxy on Thu, 19/11/2020 - 18:42

I have never done bungee jumping in my life. I am scared of these kinds of activities.

Submitted by Marey Saad on Wed, 11/11/2020 - 17:19

I really want to take a chance, and try to do this type of extreme sports, the main reason I wanna do it is to face and overcome the fear from such things and I suppose doing such sports with safety precautions taken is really help people become stronger and not to be scared of small stuff. Thanks for this enjoyable story, correct me If have mistakes.

Submitted by danisep on Thu, 05/11/2020 - 15:49

I just practice jumping into my bed. The only extreme thing that I remember is a ride in a roller coaster in a mountain so when the roller coaster goes down you can see huge rocks instead a safety pavement and that is too scary than the others roller coaster. I would like some day jump from the airplane with an advisor, I think it is more safe than bungee jumping.

Submitted by Babydoll on Sat, 17/10/2020 - 20:13

I have never done bungee jumping and I don’t think so, I ever want to do it.

Submitted by loveiseverything on Wed, 14/10/2020 - 07:14

One thing I can make sure about future is that I will never do bunjee jumping. It is like risking my life on such a meaningless adventure, I would rather challenge myself to spend a week in a different country.

Submitted by Yel on Wed, 23/09/2020 - 10:59

bungee jumping is a terrible thing for a person like me. I like to be safe, even though it looks so fun and its a unique experience I dont want to risk my life. I read some news about people who died while bungee jumping. And then this extreme sport sound more horrible to me...

Submitted by Min Htet Kaung on Mon, 21/09/2020 - 16:42

I have never done bungee jumping before. But when I was childhood, I have rode switch back at pagoda festival in our town. It is like carrousel. But while the carrousel revolves horizontally, the switch back revolves vertically. It is more frightening. When I was at top and then descended down, I felt thrilled. It was an unforgettable experience to me. By the way, I can't understand clearly a sentence ''some of them are perhaps in their late 20s.'' Does it mean ''some people are over 25 years''?

Hi Min Htet Kaung,

In their late 20s means 27, 28 or 29 years old. (In their early 20s means 20, 21, 22 or 23 years old, and the mid-20s are 24, 25 or 26 years old.)

You can use these constructions with any person or age range, e.g. He's in his mid-40s or I'm in my early 30s.

Does that make sense?

Best wishes,


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by Mya Nandar Aung on Sat, 29/08/2020 - 09:17

I have never done bungee jumping in my life. I am scared of these kinds of activities. I have been riding roller coaster at Universal Studio, Singapore. It makes me very scared and excited. After riding this roller coaster, I have decided that I will not do again this kind of activities in my life.

Submitted by Flydigo on Sat, 20/06/2020 - 06:23

I have never experienced anything like that in my life and moreover wouldn't like to so far. Even thinking about it makes me nervous. Considering chances of possible negative consequences of it prevents me from doing it.

Submitted by Mrunal on Sun, 31/05/2020 - 15:08

I haven't done yet but i would love to.. Now I have added this in my bucket list for sure because it looks very interesting and thrilling as well..

Submitted by Lila Naem on Sun, 17/05/2020 - 09:00

I have never done something exciting like bungee jumping, in fact, I am afraid of such adventures. I feel like if I do these kinds of things my adrenaline will go up till kill me. hhhhhhhh

Submitted by vero-bajonero on Mon, 13/04/2020 - 00:27

I have not done anything exciting, just go to amusement parks, ride mechanical games to zipline and rappel.  At some point in my life I would like to jump from a parachute but my greatest fear is the heights, but someday I will

Submitted by Lucas- on Thu, 26/03/2020 - 03:49

I have done a bungee jumping but if there any chance, I am exciting to do it. My last time I did an adventurous thing was about 1 year ago when I was in Korea. At that time, I and my classmates ride a roller coaster. That was an thrilling experience for me. I'm near-sighted so I have to wear glasses. When I was driving the roller coaster, I was afraid that my glasses would splash out so I took it off. Therefore, I could not see anything that made me feel much safer on the roller coaster. I was shouting and laughing with my friends. After all I felt dizzy and wanted to vomit but still it was exhilarated.

Submitted by Archana on Tue, 17/03/2020 - 06:34

I have never done anything like bungee jumping. I am too scared to do so. However I did ride roller coaster Kranken in Disney world Orleando USA in 2002. It was a scary experience not exhilarating. we were sitting in carriage in Kranken. Kranken had 10-12 carriages in it. Every carriage carried 2 persons. This train moved on track. The track was like a dragon. It had many curves and levels. At some places it was steep and then came down like a wave. When I sat in Kranken it was ok but as soon as it moved up on a steep track I was very scared and shut my eyes. The ride was of 1 minute only but it felt like ages.This was my first and last ride in roller coaster. Bungee jumping is more scary I guess as you are swinging in air with only one rope tied across. I dare not do that ever.

Submitted by jumana19 on Wed, 13/11/2019 - 10:30

I have never tried such dangerous adventure, not even less danger. That's because I grew up in a big family and my parents were quite afraid to get injured. As I become and adult enough, I would like to experience this kind of feeling when I have the chance to do so.

Submitted by parisaach on Sun, 14/07/2019 - 08:03

I haven't done any thrilling thing recently, but I used to enjoy of doing exciting activities. In my country when you go to a amusement park you shouldn't expect to come back alive. There is no standard and security in amusement rides. Last year some people thrown from one of the rides, So it needs more courge to get on one of our amusement park's rides than the other countries. I used to go to the amusement parks. The last time I went to amusement park was a few years ago in Dubai. There was a Ferrari park which has some roller coasters. One of them was the fastest roller coasters in the world . I was ready for everything but it wasn't so thrilling I didn't feel fear and excitement it finished too fast. I didn't understand what happened, because it was so fast. that park has two other roller coasters too one of them was really thrilling you couldn't control your neck it hangs in the sky and it was great specially when you seat in the sides and your feet are hanging. Anyway I do many exciting things in my life I rode zipline and I flew over the ocean( I don't remember the ride I got). I always trying to think of nothing before it happens, but when it starts it is too late to stop it. I should confess doing all these things don't give me a speciall feeling. I even don't have any feeling when I am in dangerous situations. I dealt to some dangerous situations before but I didn't have feeling of fear then I just thought how things possibly would happen. It seems I become numb in these situations.

Submitted by almabdullah88 on Tue, 21/05/2019 - 18:32

I remembered when I was In Indonesia. I tried to do like the narrator, but I could not. I scared because I was In the peak of the mountain.

Submitted by MarinaTKira on Sun, 10/03/2019 - 16:39

For me it's really usefull text, I am about to learn every secvence and learn the rules of forming the sentence..... What you think about it? Is it good way to learn quickly how to make in my own simular story...

Hello MarinaTKira

I'm very glad to hear that! That sounds like a great idea. Good luck!

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by SeaWolf on Thu, 14/02/2019 - 10:44

A few years ago I flew a paraglade in tandem with an instructor. In most time of flying I kept calm, but then my instructor made some acrobatic elements, and i was exhilarated... it was excited and I am thrilled when remember this flying.

Submitted by Sridhar reddy on Fri, 18/01/2019 - 15:14

I felt excited to read the story and thrilled while reading it when I finished reading it I was exhilarated.I love the narration, thanks for the wonderful story.