It took me 15 minutes to lower myself off the course (Well, this is a guess. It felt like forever and might have taken longer.) I hooked myself up to the system that slowly lowers you back to the ground and then just sat. The fear filled my body quicker than I could get a hold of it. I stared at the ground and imagined the worst. I had seen several people lower themselves down. Just 30 minutes ago, I was wondering why my friend hesitated lowering and just dismissed it and thought she would get over it. Well, she did. In less than a couple of minutes she lowered her self down to the ground, but boy, did I feel guilty for just moving along the course as she was trying to figure that out! Sorry Lisa!
The staff at Wild Blue Ropes was so gentle and supportive in encouraging me on how to lower myself. Offering to go down at the same time. Offering to show me and go down first. I still sat frozen to my seat and very close to tears. Finally, I followed directions and slid myself off the platform. In less then a second I was slowly getting lowered to the bottom by the pulley system. Immediately, I thought, Are you kidding Mary? This is what you were so scared of!? My feet hit the ground ever so gently. I brushed it off and laughed at myself. A sense of humor is important right!?
Facing my fear was even more important. I had climbed all the way up to the top level challenging myself through the different obstacles. Some of them kicked my butt and left me a bit fatigued and mentally wiped. Some of them wait for my return. I loved every second of it focusing on each obstacle, connecting and moving my body across. The course challenged my balance, coordination, and strength - not just physical strength, but emotional and inner strength.
I may have gotten nervous throughout some of the course, but I never really felt scared. I trusted my equipment. Staff was throughout the course cheering you on and very encouraging. It was fun! So why, when I hit the last step, potentially the easiest one, did I freak? Who knows what triggers that sudden rush. But boy does it come on fast. The immediate gut reaction is to get out of the situation and fast. Well, I couldn't. I had to face it and I am more than happy I did!
In reflection, I realized throughout the course, the hardest parts of each obstacle and challenge were often the first step and the last step. In the middle, it was always the most unstable, but you had to keep moving at that point and why not keep going forward. You had made is so far already. This reminds me a lot of challenges we face in life. Often times, we get all the way to the end, all they way to that final most important step and we stop. We stop because fear takes over (or we don't even take that first step because of the fear). Fear of what is next. Fear of the unknown. It is easy in these life situations to just go back and quit the challenge. Why not choose easy? It is easy right!?
No way! We are missing out on so much when we do that. If I learned anything from this fun trip to Wild Blue Ropes, it is to attack those fears. Don't run away from them! The other side of fear is pretty darn awesome (and no scary at all)!
Let's go for awesomeness!
(And if you are looking for a fun and adventureous time, check out Wild Blue Ropes!)
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