I am afraid of heights. Well, tangible heights. If I think I actually have a chance of falling, then it bothers me. Airplanes? The odds are pretty slim so I have no problem flying! Weird? Sure, but aren’t all fears irrational?
So, the opportunity to go ziplining presented itself and I thought, what a great way to have fun with friends and try something new. Sure, I was a teensy bit afraid of being 50-100 feet in the air, but I saw the commercials – if a kid can do it, certainly I, not a kid, could do it. I just pushed that fear aside while booking. It’s very easy to push the fear aside when something is weeks or months away. Sometimes it’s best to just commit and build up the courage between now and when you get there.
If you’re anything like me, you probably want to know what you are getting into before you get there. Somehow going through a million what if scenarios is comforting, because I know I have a plan in case something goes wrong, and said fear, gets put into action. When I am scared to do something I will be on YouTube like nobody’s business, watching videos so I know what to expect, and perusing books and websites to understand what I am getting myself into. (I saw the rolling of those eyes. Don’t knock books, they still contain mounds of knowledge).
So here’s how it all went down at GoApe (Super cool adventures course and Ziplining. I definitely recommend it). You get there and sign a waiver that releases them from any liability, aka, it’s your own fault if you don’t follow the instructions. I really don’t blame them. You don’t really want to have anything that can fall out of your pockets. You are more than welcome to keep your cell phone for pictures, but if you don’t have a pocket that zips, snaps, or cinches, you might just lose/break it. Before anything starts they put you in a harness and review the safety rules. The main rule is to always stay connected. You are fatal heights in the air, the last thing you need is to sneeze off a tree because you weren’t hooked up. At first it might be a little daunting which clip goes where and when, but with the first couple of trial runs with the instructor there, you will quickly get it. There’s a test climb in the beginning where you learn how to climb ladders, walk across cable, and zip line. And then there’s a beginning swing where you basically free fall (attached of course) into a cargo rope, which actually requires some arm muscles to get up.
So, there are basically 6 different types of activities there: walking on cable, walking on planks, climbing solid ladders, climbing cargo nets, freefall tarzan swings, and Ziplining. There’s plent of water stations in case you get a little parched, and downtime between climbs to catch up to your friends and build the courage. I never felt unsafe here, and so my only challenge was to muster up the courage to jump for the tarzan swings. And of course, I probably could have done some more pushups. But all in all, definitely an experience worth trying and jumping out for!
Photo by: Kris Best