Sometimes, it is a lot of fun to try something new.
New coffee shop. New thought pattern. New TV show. New path. New activity.
Until I try something new myself, I will never be able to know how I really feel about it.
One fine summer day, I went with a few co-workers (now ex-co-workers) on an outing. We drove 2 hours north of Toronto and arrived at Barrie Park . They offer many different adrenaline inducing activities for all seasons – that day we all tried treetop trekking and zip lining for the first time!
I am very fortunate to have friends who are willing to try new activities with me! I first came across this as an offer from a deal-of-the-day website that features discounted gift certificates usable at local or national companies. Those who knows me know that I love finding and sharing amazing discounted deals! Anything to help stretch my hard-earned dollar!
After check-in and payment procedures, we joined many others for a thorough safety demonstration. Part of the demonstration included trial tests of our response to height and walking on the equipment.
This fine day, height wasn’t the issue for me. Nor was it my ability to trust the safety cable which my safety harness is attached to with carabiners. The issue of the day for me was “Do I trust myself to have the ability to complete the course?” It was also a test of my physical strength and stability.
Most of the treetop trekking course involved walking on solid materials; timbers and woven nets. However there were sections of single cable wire path with a separate cable wire overhead or at chest height to help with balance and connection to safety harness. When I approached the first cable wire section, I did not think much of it. I waited for the previous trekker to finish and asked the person behind me to wait for me to completely finish crossing before she started – I did not want the other person to cause the cable wire to sway.
My cautious approach helped a bit but not enough. 3 steps out and I started to wonder how will I get to the other end – I could not stop swaying. My core muscles were weak and I was having difficulty stabilizing my body – my hands had a death grip on the upper cable, my body swayed in and out. I could not – for the life of me – keep a straight body like my friend in the photo below. I was freaking out inside my head – I froze.
My friends had no idea of my struggles as they were ahead of me. Only the woman behind me was there to give me a few words of encouragement and support. One main thought in my mind was “This design is flawed. There is no way for someone to rescue me from this vulnerable position. I need something to just lower me straight down to the ground below me. I cannot stay here all day long.” In my moment of fear, I chose to blame others.
What felt like an hour was really only a few minutes but my arm muscles were getting tired as I was clenching them, in hopes to find stability. I almost cried right there. I shuffled really, really slowly across the cable wire. Each time my butt swayed backwards, my hands would grip a bit tighter. Each time my knees buckled too far forward, I would scream a bit more inside my head. No one heard my cries for help because it was an internal dialogue. I had to convince myself that I could accomplish this. I had to find self-trust and self-confidence.
When I finally landed on the platform, I understood why people kiss the ground when they are safely back on land. Such joy! Such elation!
Walking on planks of wood felt like a breeze.
The icing on the cake that day was the zip line – or it could be viewed as my reward for walking the cable.
I watched a few people zip across overhead as I walked to the starting point. All the jeering and cheering were full of joy and excitement. My excitement built as I approached the zip line. When I zipped across the trails below me, I felt a calmness which reminded me of my paragliding experience. I did a little spin in the air and wished I could do this all day long. Zip lining is sooo much fun!
What would you like to try for the first time this month?