Over the summer I did something for the first time that I both couldn’t wait to try and was absolutely petrified by at the same time. What could that be, you ask? Ziplining.
Ziplining is something I’ve always want to try. It seemed like a lot of fun zipping from place to place high up in the trees. The views must be absolutely stunning from up there! The only thing is, I’m a tad hesitant of heights. I don’t have a full-out blanket fear, but I don’t love heights.
This summer, while away in New Hampshire, we were visiting a ski resort that has an adventure park for summer fun. When I saw they had a zipline I commented that maybe today would be the day. I asked my adventurous 12-year-old son if he would want to try it with me so I wouldn’t have to go it alone.
When I started to change my mind, my husband, who is normally the “keep both feet firmly planted on the ground” kind of guy, encouraged me to go. He reminded me that this is something I’ve been talking about trying and this was the perfect opportunity. It was a nice, short course, and well, we were there.
My son and I got harnessed up, had our safety chat, and were sent up the four-story platform. I tried getting my son to go first (because I’m a good mom like that) but he declined citing “ladies first”. This was the one time I didn’t need him to mind his manners or respect his elders!
The young man at the top of the platform got me hooked up and said “OK!” to which I replied in a shaky voice “all I have to do is walk over there and step off the edge?” “Yup” was his simple reply and he moved on to hook my son up.
I stood at the edge of the platform and I was suddenly paralyzed with fear. Every logical fiber of my being was telling me it was absolutely insane to step off a four-story platform. I don’t know how long I stood there but at one point I turned around to say “get me out of here!” but something stopped me. I knew if I didn’t follow through and have this experience that I would regret it. I turned back around, stood there for a moment longer, and finally let logic go. I closed my eyes, held on for dear life, and stepped off that platform.
It was terrifying and exhilarating all at once.
When my son reached the other side he asked me what took me so long to go. I was honest with him and told him how close I was to backing out. He didn’t call me a wimp, he just said “It’s ok, mom”.
On the return zip, I still hesitated for a moment before I stepped off the platform but I let go much faster. I was able to enjoy the second stretch more too because I had let go of my fear and embraced the experience of it. I even took the time to wave to my family on the ground.
Sometimes, (often times), taking that first step is the hardest thing you’ll ever do. But when you let go and open yourself up, the reward you receive is wonderful.
I can’t wait to go again!