Durban's Moses Mabhida Stadium: What a rush!

2015-05-14 13:25 - Selene Brophy
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Clinging to the steel step ladder that led down onto the 80m high platform of the Moses Mahbida Stadium I could see my knuckles turning white.

Every inch of my body was gripped with fear.

"Wow," I thought to myself. "This really seemed like such a great idea a few moments ago."

Even so, three days before, when I was first captivated by this pretty, lace-like stadium and had decided I need to give it a try.

There is so much to love about this stadium. It is innovative in design and being kept relevant with a number of adventure activities. Like the Big Rush Swing I was about to do, the world's tallest swing in fact, that would see me taking a leap out into the massive 220m centre of the stadium's arc.

And then vertigo sets in...#Durban #mosesmahbidastadium

A photo posted by Selene Brophy (@selenebrophy) on

The Big Rush crew with @nadia_safaria #mosesmahbidastadium #Durban

A photo posted by Selene Brophy (@selenebrophy) on

Queues tend to peak on weekends I'm told. It was a Monday and we were the only adventurers at the time, baring another two guys who were taking the Skywalk Tour.

As I clung to the ladder, on either side of me, vertigo rushed in as spectacular views of Durban more than took my breath away.

"Don't be afraid, the ladder down seems much worse than it is," said Mlungisi Gumede, my Big Rush Adventure expert who had done the big swing many times before as part of his training.

Even as we steadily made our way up three-hundred of the five-hundred-stepped arch of the stadium to get to this point, I was excited.

The halfway view from Moses Mahbida stadium #Durban

A photo posted by Selene Brophy (@selenebrophy) on

Such an interesting design...

A photo posted by Selene Brophy (@selenebrophy) on

But standing on the launch platform, clinging to the railing, I envied the guys who had opted for comfortable Segway gliding tour. I recalled the words of the two Skywalk tour guys, who had earlier smiled and waved as they shouted, "You're crazy!"

"OMG, yes I am, what was I thinking! You're a mom for Pete's sake. Why are you doing this?" I asked myself.

Just like the adrenalin was coursing through every cell in my body, causing me to visibly tremble, negative thoughts of fear sent me into a state of paralysis.

"Come on, you came all this way for a once in a lifetime experience, you can do it," said Muzi Mbatha my other Big Rush expert who was doing little to settle my nerves as he nimbly danced on the edge of the platform, as confident as a Cirque du Soleil trapeze artist.

"Don't be afraid!, this is going to be the most awesome few seconds of your life," said Mlungisi.

I turned my face into the wind, inhaling deeply.

I wanted to experience this, I really did, but every survival instinct encoded into our DNA was kicking in, making me want to hotfoot it back down the stairs.

"Everything you are feeling now is good; it shows that your mind is active and alive. I need you to trust this process and let me do my job. You are going to be better than okay," Mlungisi told me in an almost whisper.

I looked at him, the fear in my eyes connecting with the calm in his and I wondered if seeing people's expressions as their lives flashed before them had given him this convincing sense of empathy.

Nope, I was not the arms-wide-open jumper I'm sure he's also engaged with. I imagined him to be my negotiator called in to help in this attempted suicide. Except he wanted me to jump.

"Release your fears and just do it. Jump!"

And so I did.

For a split second I heard the sound of my own voice, a scream filled with such unrecognized anguish, it jolted me into an amniotic silence, a womb-like state but instead of my mother's heartbeat I heard and felt my own.

Three or so seconds in slow motion. Incredible. 

Then as the swing and gravity took hold I burst out crying. It was the best cry of my life! Filled with such a sense of release.

"I want to go again," I immediately thought. "Wait, am I nuts!?"

Our intrepid editor @selenebrophy just did the Big Rush Swing at Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban! What a brave lady!

A video posted by Traveller24_SA (@traveller24_sa) on

As I watched the Instagram video with my two sons back home, they really were in awe. "Wow, that's so cool mom," said my eldest, "When are you going to take me?"

"Sure baby, I definitely will, when you're old enough." Kids have to be ten or older to do the swing.

"You sound a bit like a whale," said my husband.

"Yep babe, that's whale for I'm about to pee in my pants," I joked.

Take the family, do it on your own, plan a team building experience. Either way, when in Durban, this is a must do - if you haven't already tried it.

What you need to know:

The Big Rush Big Swing is officially the world’s tallest swing according to the Guinness Book of Records since 14 May 2011. No children under 10 allowed.

Attraction Info: Operating Hours (Weather dependent)
Friday – Monday 10:00 to 16:00
Tuesday – Closed
Wednesday – 10:00 to 16:00
Thursday – Closed
Weekends – 10:00 to 16:00

R695 per person

+27 (0) 31 312 9281

Traveller24 Editor Selene Brophy was hosted for the Big Swing Experience by Durban Tourism - Follow Durban Experience on Twitter here

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