Ever do anything that is out of your comfort zone?
I like to stretch myself, and so when I had the chance to ride a zip line last week, I said yes. The setting was a family reunion at Heber Valley Girls Camp. As a warm-up we had done a couple of cooperation activities. Collaboration, trust, problem solving. I love those kind of activities. Good skills to learn.
Most of our family was excited about the zip line and I was too. I wasn't at all scared at the idea, but I knew that it might be more scary when I was on top. I was right about that.
First up was climbing a 30 foot pole. Even though I have been working out at the gym for about ten months, it was incredibly hard. The foot holds were far apart and I have short legs. I watched my five year old granddaughter climb the pole with ease, but it was a challenge for me. How did she do it? It was taxing for me, and scary. I arrived at the top huffing and puffing.
Next I had to cross a tight rope, sideways. I had another rope to hang on to, thankfully. Both ropes were shaking...or was it me. I was too out of breath to analyze. I told myself I wasn't scared, but I tried not look down.
Moving from the rope to the platform was another scary moment, but I didn't have much choice. I was committed.
The helper asked me if I wanted to go down the zip line frontwards or backwards. "Frontwards," I said bravely. And then she asked me to stand on the edge of the platform with me toes hanging off.
My throat constricted as I inched my toes toward the edge of the platform. A tiny alarm went off in my brain. My bravery vanished. "Backward," screamed my brain.
"Backward," I said calmly to the attendant. "I think I meant to say backward."
"Good idea," she said as she turned me around and helped me to the edge. Now my heels hung over the edge instead of my toes, and I felt the tiniest bit safer, mostly because I couldn't see. She asked me to sit down and then came that moment when she pushed me off the platform. If she hadn't pushed me, I might still be sitting there.
I had planned to fly like a bird. I had planned to shout "Towanda," but I only whispered it, and my arms were not outstretched and free but clutching the ropes protectively.
Nevertheless, I felt triumphant. It was harder than I imagined, but I can do hard things.
Would I do it again? I think I would. I like to stretch myself.