Thursday, July 5, 2012

What I Learned at the Top of a Redwood Tree

My family and I recently went zip-lining. Partly to celebrate my mother's 55th birthday and partly...just for the heck of it. 
Sort of relaxed, dangling my legs over the side of the platform.

My sister, Nicole, is notorious for planning ahead. So when she asked me two months ahead of time if I wanted to zip from a tree 200 feet in the air, I said yes without even thinking about it. (I'm more of a the-day-before planner.) 

Thankfully, I was swamped the weeks leading up to our trip, so I didn't have time to stop and think about what I'd signed up to do, if I would even be able to do it, or how scared I really was about flying from tree to tree. 

On our three hour drive to the Sonoma Canopy Tours everything started to settle in my mind. I am NOT an adrenaline-rush person. Believe me, the most dangerous thing I do in life is letting my kids use the public restroom at the park near our house. (Not that it's a dirty bathroom or anything but the thought seriously grosses me out!)

Yes, I really do have a death grip on that rope. 
I started to get really quiet...because my mind was distracted with worst case scenarios. Then when we stopped for lunch, I couldn't really eat because my stomach was so full of butterflies. But I was determined to do it! I've been reading a lot about being brave enough to go on an adventure, to do something out of my comfort zone, and that was definitely where I was! 

One step at a time...step into the harness. (Good, I can do that.) Follow directions. (Piece of cake. I'm a great listener.) Get into the back of a truck and bump along as it climbs higher and higher into the mountain. (Okay, now I'm trembling.) One final harness inspection before we're allowed to step onto the first zipping platform. (I want to go home!) Watch as one by one my group gets hooked up and zips to the next tree. (Don't cry!!)

Smiling, but freaking out! And that was the shortest zip!
Then it was my turn. I took a steadying breath, squeezed my eyes shut and...actually, I think the guide pushed me off the platform. :) Either way, I did it! And I didn't die!! The more I zipped, the less terrified I was. By the end of the three hour adventure, I was hardly shaking at all. And we even had to walk across one of those wobbly rope know, the kind you might see in an Indiana Jones movie. Not to mention the 60 foot repel down a tree when it was all over. 

So what did I learn? Well, like almost anything that we're scared of, the fear of XYZ is mostly in our head. Looking back I actually had a good time! A good time that I wouldn't have had if I'd allowed my fear of the unknown to paralyze me.

One of my guides, Claire, after she pushed me! Rude!
This is not earth-shattering news people. I'm sure you're all rolling your eyes at my silly fears and my silly take-away, but there it is! Fear is mental! Shocker, I know! :) 

So get out there! Do something adventurous! And prove to yourself that you're braver than you thought! 

What are you afraid of? Are you an adrenaline person or do you tend to play it safe, like I do? Have you ever been zip-lining?   


  1. It looks like fun...but I would be scared too! I'm definitely a play-it-safe person.

  2. Looks like a fun time! Great pictures. I can totally relate because I'm super afraid of heights. Way to get on out there and do it!

  3. You are so brave!

    As to zip-lining, um. No. There are enough people on the ground to get me up a tree, but you can't get enough people in a tree to get me out once I'm there. :D I get nauseated on a stepladder. :D

  4. Um, super awesome! I am so jealous! I am not that brave. I discovered my fear of heights when my hubby and I went parasailing at 1000 feet on our honeymoon. Yes, we were tied to a parachute on one end and a boat on the other--water to land in should we somehow plummet back down to earth--but still so scary.

    Not at all an adrenaline junkie here. And I'd agree, kids in public restrooms is about a scary as it gets for a germiphobe like me.


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