I am terrified of heights. I can’t even stand on a step ladder without my legs shaking. In dreams of falling, I always crash to the ground and die. I’m a freak like that. But my husband’s one request on our trip to Maui was that we zipline as a family. So, I booked the excursion and secretly resented my husband for a month. I began plotting ways to get out of it. But the days continued to pass and each hint from me that our family did not need to do a dangerous excursion was met with silence. Which, as we all know, is the final answer in any marital argument.
So, I decided that I would rather hate him for making me zipline, than have him hate me for not doing it. Yes, I am perfectly mentally healthy.
The night before the plunge of doom, I was up sobbing in our hotel room. Why was this happening? Why would he want to do this? How could he subject our family to this?
I am a joy.
My husband wanted to do this excursion, because he felt that our son needed this boost for his self esteem. My son had been dreading a wonderful field trip our school does for its fifth graders. They have to zipline during a three day camp. We really wanted him to go with his peers. He thought if our son saw that he could accomplish this, he might be more inclined to try other new things. Once again, he was right.
The next morning, we arrived at the zipline excursion. It is hosted by Maui Tropical Plantation and is called Maui Zipline Company. The grounds are beautiful and lush. But between every branch is a spider. And there are fun creepy crawlies everywhere. My kids, who had been apprehensive about ziplining (definitely having nothing to do with a hysterical woman tormenting them the night before), decided they would much rather be on the zipline tower than on the ground with the spiders and bugs.
So, now I was all alone in the war against the zipline. At this point, I could not let my babies go up alone. Plus, I am cheap and there are no refunds once you get there.
The guides introduced themselves. I knew I had to go through with this. One of the guides looked like Brad Pitt, but younger and sweeter. We are going to call him L.B. (I need to protect his innocence). My husband later asked me if I would have gone through with it for less attractive guides. I, unfortunately, had to answer “no.” Heck, if you think you are going to plummet to your death, you might as well have something pretty to look at on the way down.
They strapped us into our gear. L.B. explained that although there is a braking system, they will be the ones ultimately catching us. Sigh. He stated he would like to have kids one day, perhaps in ten years, so please be careful with your legs when he comes in to catch you. This brought many images into my mind. I will share with you the PG image. It was the vision of what my ovaries will look like in ten years. Shivers. It was not pretty. Our poor babies never had a chance.
We climbed our first ziplining tower. It was fifty feet high, which I guess is pretty mild in the ziplining world. To me, it felt like Mount Everest. Tears rolled down my cheeks. My legs started trembling. It was quite embarrassing. Then the wind kicked up and the tower began swaying. Okay, maybe not swaying, but it definitely moved. It was terrifying.
They decided my son and I would go on parallel lines as the third and fourth people to go. Let me backtrack and state that there was another family on this excursion with us. They were a family of five. They were very quiet. I am quite positive, yours truly, was not their cup of tea.
My son started to back out. And I realized this mommy better buck up and do this if my children were going to have this experience. So, I bent down when they told me to and let it happen. It was actually quite easy. I looked behind me to see if my son had proceeded after me. He had! We both landed safely at the next tower. We had made it! Only FOUR more to go!
Each tower, after that, was easier. On the final zipline, you are only twenty feet off the ground. And you know what? I let go. I let go of the handles, for perhaps just one second. Nothing bad happened. It was actually fun. It was exhilarating! I was soaring! And then the most amazing thing happened, L.B. caught me. I was back on the ground. My legs ached. My back ached. My heart ached (good bye L.B.!). But my soul was full.
Have you been ziplining? What did you think of the experience?