For Christmas this past year, I gave my Dad tickets for the two of us to do a zipline tour together with the stipulation that it must be done when it was warmer. I’m not exactly what you would call the “outdoorsy” type and he actually owns snow shoes so I recognized the need to be quite specific.
I found out later that he was excited about it….but was terrified of heights. I had no idea! My reaction, after disbelief because he is very athletic, was SUCK IT UP because I have RA.
Fast forward to yesterday: the end result was that we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.
I didn’t know really what to expect- I figured we’d be zipping along through the woods for like an hour and that would be it. We were both pretty surprised when we checked in and found out it was a four hour trip.
Four hours? Hmmmm….
We checked in, geared up, met our guides (one of which was an extra in the latest Pirates of the Caribbean but alas doesn’t know Johnny Depp’s phone number), and we were off.
The first line was maybe 20 feet off the ground and maybe 100 feet long. Easy, schmeezy. When we got to the second platform, they showed us how to use our gloves to brake and warned of the importance of sticking your hands BEHIND the pulley so that it wouldn’t eat your fingers. This stuck with me…and later was to blame for me barrelling into a platform full speed and the guide having to tackle me. No way was I sticking my poor little fingers anywhere near that pulley! And I have a big bruise on my leg to prove it.
We zipped all through the woods for probably an hour and a half- Dad did GREAT with his fear of heights- until we came to…(insert foreboding music)…a high ropes course. All I could see were Burmese bridges, plank bridges, cargo nets, swinging bridges. EEK.
The swinging bridge was first and I made it quite clear that the person who shook the bridge while I was on it would be summarily pitched from the next platform, thank you very much.
I made it through all those bridges and then rappelled (!!!) back to the ground. We took a quick water break and then ascended another letter to yet ANOTHER hellish bridge.
I tried to find a picture of it but just imagine a rope ladder with one cable on the left for support that goes up 20 feet to another platform. My Dad went first. He did ok until he hit the middle- he leaned out the wrong way, surfed a little, lost his balance, and hung upside down tangled up in the bridge for a good five minutes before the guides could untangle him. It was all fun and games…until I realized I had to go next.
I was nervous. I really really didn’t want to do it. But I didn’t want to miss out on the last part of it because I knew my Dad wouldn’t finish either if I dropped out. So I stepped out gingerly. I kept my feet as far to the right as I possibly could and leaned forward into the support cable until I was almost in a pushup position. (Note: I do NOT do pushups.) I balanced myself in this way the whole way up, which I made without falling.
At the top, I had to sit down for a few minutes because my legs and my arms were shaking so bad.
Last bridge was a plank bridge which seems easy except that the slats and arm pieces were obviously made for someone substantially taller than 5’6 and I found myself having to basically propel myself forward and hope for the best on many of them. I made that too!
It kinda hit me on the last platform when I was rappelling 50 feet back to the ground. Had I known what that course was, I never would’ve done it. I never would’ve done it because I never would’ve thought that I COULD do it. Hell, this time last year, I am positive I wouldn’t have been able to do it. Maybe part of it is because I have always been a girly girl and girly girls do not rappell?
But I totally did. RA and all.
Therefore, I am NITRO.