We’ve all heard the quote by the inimitable Eleanor Roosevelt that says “Do one thing every day that scares you “. I actually think I’ve written a post or two about this outlook, it’s such a good one. Well, the quote struck again this summer.
Adventure Park. Ropes Course. Suspension “bridges” (there’s a loose definition if ever there was one) hanging high above the ground. Whatever the name, these climbing-rope-structures wearing a helmet and a bunch of latches are de riguer these days in the realm of family and kid activities.
So, never a family to pass up a new adventure, we climbed one of these babies this summer.
Holy cr*p. (a”review” that was conveniently left off any of the brochures)
I’ve never had a problem with heights. I am also a person-woman-who wants to show her girls that I am not one of the Moms that just hangs on the sidelines and lets the Dads and the kids do the crazy stunts. I could do this!
Or so I thought.
Ok, fast forward to the end (the good part-ha). Let the record show that I DID do it and even made it up to the second level, of course not without thinking a hundred times “How did I get UP here??”. Followed closely by “omgomgomg, now I still have to get DOWN!”. That’s the issue that folks don’t really point out…however far you go up (which is an easier direction), you still have to come down. Ugh.
This was one wacky activity and it tapped into emotions/fears that I had not experienced in…well, I’m not sure ever. I think childbirth (twice) was less intimidating. Apparently, I’ve been on terra-firma and in a comfort zone much more that I had previously thought.
There was actually a point climbing this thing, as I stood nuzzled up to one of the telephone pole “landings’ where three bridges (again, I use that term loooosely) connect , when I thought….”Holy (expletive), I’m going to be THAT Mom that needs to be rescued! I am perfectly frozen and do not know where or how to move forward! I seriously don’t!”
And strangely, those words propelled me forward. I couldn’t be THAT Mom. I had to do this.
It was amazing to be up on these ropes….the kids, mine included, had absolutely NO fear. They swung like monkeys, didn’t hesitate for a second and just hung happily when their balance didn’t perform and the tether took over. We are up OFF (way off) of the ground, people! And these ain’t no monkey bars on a playground! Why are you not scared in the least here?? Ironically, and this thought DID occur to me when I was up there, my favorite childhood book character was Curious George. The monkey. (I laugh). AND, I also remembered that in Kindergarten I won several “Monkey Awards” for climbing up to the gym ceiling just by scampering up a verrrry long rope (yet another total death-trap from the 70s that I somehow dodged). I laugh again. Where was the monkey in me now?
I was befuddled. Amazed.
My adult brain was starting to ruin the experience, so I had to work-actively work, mind you-to get out of that over-thinking rut. After all, there was only MERELY a *TEENY* chance that:
-only *my* tethers (out of everyone’s on the course) would fail and I would crash to the ground, breaking every bone in my body
-I would ride the zip-line and my feet would forget their purpose (stopping me) and I would crash into the pole at the end, henceforth snapping my neck like a toothpick, resulting in the worst family vacation ever
-I would pee my pants from fright and mortify my children (and god help the people on the first level of rungs)
-I would pass out trying to accept the fact that the tethers really do hold and not get across that bridge that didn’t have any sides
-A spectator down below (you know, the Moms that I mentioned at the beginning) would be filming on their phone and my butt IN A HARNESS would appear somewhere on the internet. Possibly the scariest thought of them all.
Pish. I had to put these thoughts aside, however rational or irrational they seemed.
So, I suspended. Literally. Both my mind and my body.
It was ridiculous. Holy cr*p (again). I was doing it. And, yes, it was scaring the sweet bejesus out of me in the process. Hubby said he even noticed a nervous-tick that he had never seen in 25 years as I struggled to make the first step onto one of those floating bridges: see me chewing my bottom lip to such a degree it’s lucky I descended from this event with something to still apply my Burt’s Bees to.
But I did it. I will also say that I never made it to the third level or the giant zip-line because, as I told me children who whizzed by me “I have run out of Moxie”.
Two levels and one very uncomfortable zip line was good enough for me that day. And amazingly enough, I will go back and do it again if the opportunity presents itself. It served its purpose in giving us a great new adventure as a family, a ton of laughs AND reminding my to step outside of myself now and again and not over-think every darned idea.