Monday, September 19, 2011

My Day Hanging From Ropes

Wow!  That's really my best reaction to the day.  It far exceeded all of my expectations. 




It was however different than I imagined.  A heck of a lot harder than anything I have done in my lifetime.  As mentally challenging as it was physical.  And you should note that I can barely move my arms today, two days later. 


OK this was a LOT harder than this chic makes it look.  I ended it flopped flat on my belly at that platform up top.  Hilarious to anyone watching me I am sure.  Ha.


But it was a blast to try something soooo far outside my personal box.  To really push myself.  I was extremely proud of how far I went.  And how high up I was in the woods without having a panic attack.  I've concluded that the only reason height didn't tremendously bother me was that my mind was so busy thinking about how to get from point A to point B. 




So for those less versed in ropes courses, let me explain a little.

You start by getting a harness on and realizing right then and there that there was no point in blow drying my hair or putting on make-up that morning.  I was not going to look pretty.  But the unpretty look was universal so I got over it really quickly.  Then you get a little training on where to add your clasps to wires and such to keep you safe.  And how to hook on the gizmo that lets you use the zip-lines when needed.  All technical terms of course!




Then you are off to try the first level.  Which at the end felt easy, but at the time felt challenging.  Funny how that works.  Each level (five in total) became progressively longer and more difficult.  They all were made up of a variety of tasks that included jumping from moving logs to ropes to ladders to rock walls and then some.  All high up in the trees.  With zip lines here and there too- which are my favorite. 




There are tons of guides down below who are able to rescue you at any time though.  I know this to be true as I got started on level five (the final level) and then saw what the rest looked like.  Y'all, let me just be honest that I do not work out.  Once in a while I pop in a DVD but it's usually hip hop dance something.  I have no upper body strength though.  None.  At.  All.  So when I realized level five was entirely arms/upper body and that I was beyond exhausted already, it just wasn't going to happen.  I had already pushed my unfit body much farther than I could imagine possible.  I will get there.  But next year.  So I asked the guide if he would come rescue me.  They told us at the start that they would and I knew two of my girls had done it earlier on the course. 


all images


So the little guide man shimmied up one tree, hopped floating logs to my tree, rigged me up and I got to repel down.  I completely enjoy my unexpected detour.  I have zero shame on the matter.  It was for the best.  I didn't want my arms to give out and get hurt. 

Plus, it gave me time to sit around chatting with my girls.  I think they thoroughly enjoyed seeing me doing this with them.  They were so sweet and encouraging to me.  I looked a fool all day.  But I know when to laugh at myself.  It was a mighty laughable day.  Such a phenomenal bonding experience.  And just plain FUN!

I've decided that if I ever get married (Dear Lord, please don't make the the old lady that is alone forever.), I want to a ropes course instead of a bachelorette nekkid dancer party.  I'm thinking the course in the AM, massages in the afternoon and a fun hotel, and a fabulous dinner with endless bottles of wine in the PM.  Don't worry Bestie, I know you are reading this thinking of how to get out of attending.  The chances of me ever getting hitched are negligible at this point.  But I do truly think that sounds like an awesome girls weekend.

I have to share with y'all a very strange consequence of this adventure though because I am just so confused.  So I don't dig heights all that much.  Like an airplane isn't an issue but feeling like I am going to fall from a ladder is.  Anyway, I did remarkably well, if I do say so myself.  I tried not to look down much and push through fears.  Honestly the few ladders I had to climb were the biggest issue for me regarding this fear.  So when I came home, I made myself immediately walk the dog because I knew if I sat down I would crash.  Then I had some dinner and took a very long and very hot shower to try to help my muscles.  And got cozy in bed.  When I slept that night though, I had nightmare after nightmare about falling.  I kept seeing the various parts of the course but then the logs would be missing or I would just free fall.  Which would make me jolt awake.  And then be in physical pain because my muscles are sore and jolting is so not what any doctor would order.  All night, nightmares.  It's like my relaxed mind realized that it forgot to freak out in the woods so was making up for lost time or something.  So strange.

So the bottom line is that I had one of my all time best experiences this weekend.  But I can't really move my upper body this week.  Getting out of bed is like a 20 minute ordeal.  And it's hard to do things with floppy arms.  I seriously loved it though and can't wait to do it again soon.  Or like, next year soon.  Let's be realistic about these things.

4 comments:

Prep in the country said...

It sounds like a blast bar the nightmears bit. My fitness level is in the dirt so I don't think I could have completed this but I would have had fun trying. I'm so happy that you had fun with your girls this weekend.

Kate said...

I cannot do ropes course. I really hate them. I don't mind a hike or maybe some camping. But I really do not like doing the whole ropes course thing. In high school we were supposed to do one on a retreat. Thankfully our teachers were not outdoorsy and said no thanks!

Good for you doing it though. I think it's a great accomplishment!

REBrown said...

It sounds really fun! I just knew you could do it.

garden state prep said...

It sounds like you had such an amazing time and that it was a great experience to share with your girls! I've always wanted to try a ropes course but I'm such a scaredy cat about heights that I don't know if I could make it.

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