FGCU student participates in Bridge Day
Every year, Fayetteville, West Virginia, hosts thousands of adrenaline junkies in honor of Bridge Day, an annual event held since 1980.
Bridge Day is the only day of the year when people are allowed to BASE jump off of the New River Gorge Bridge, commemorating its completion in 1977.
This year, a fellow Eagle represented FGCU in West Virginia as he plunged off the bridge in a daring BASE jump.
“It was completely surreal,” said senior Tyler Perkins. “I never thought I would go BASE jumping, that’s for sure. My knees were buckling and when it was my turn I took a step back. I knew I had to do it so I didn’t think, I just did it.”
After stepping off the bridge, a chilling 876 feet above the rocks and river below, he recalls the things around him slowing down.
“I could never put it into words. You just have to do it,” he said.
Perkins has been skydiving since he turned 18. He had completed 13 jumps by the time he went to college.
“It just took off from there,” he said. With 320 total jumps completed since day 1, he has earned a coach rating and jumps regularly.
“During the school year I usually get out there every other week. During the summer I’m out there every weekend.”
The soon-to-be 22- year-old communication major started jumping for the experience and continues to jump for the satisfaction of it. It helps him forget the little things and gets him through the week. The adrenaline- driven escape, he says, has made him who he is today and without it may not still be in school.
While he doesn’t see it becoming a career path for him, Perkins will continue to do it for as long as he can. His bucket list in his pocket is full of future jumps around the world.
“I plan on going to Idaho at the end of spring semester to take a course they recommend you take when you continue to BASE jump,” said Perkins.
“I encourage everyone to do it,” he said. It has changed his life and knows it can changes the lives of others.