I had known it was coming. It was on the invitation for the weekend away in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. In my excitement to celebrate my friend and help with any and all of the set up, I had blocked out the whole “zip-lining adventure park” thing. I just figured when it came down to it I would opt out and read contentedly while my highly adventurous best friend had a delightful day scaring herself. Alas, this was not to be. On the ride up with the Maid of Honor I was informed that the excursion was already paid for and I had no choice but to participate. It wasn’t the news I was expecting to hear, and I was not allowed to chicken out or do my own thing.
On the morning of the event I found myself being overly helpful when we got to Attitash Mt. making sure every one’s valuables were secured in our car. I was being so slow and deliberate that I was one of the last people to sign in, making it impossible to run to the bathroom before we were strapped into our gear.
There were ten of us all intent on the training video that blared in the back ground. Telling us all the fun facts about the longest zip line in New England and how there were actually three zip lines we would be going down, two on the mountain and one in training. The anticipation was not very good for my bladder. It was a bright sunny day with the air warming slowly which would have been perfect to sit in the shade and read, but no, here I was being stuffed into a harness that was tightened around my body like a boa constrictor ready for its meal. We took pictures in our helmets and gear packs while a nervous anticipation swept through our group. We headed out into the sunshine where we would take part in the training zip.
I ended up being last for this as well. My partner and I would be last to zip everywhere on the mountain and that wasn’t a bad thing. We were able to see that everyone survived and that we could do it too. Our practice zip went well with the instructors giving everyone pointers and help. Making sure we all understood what our responsibilities were and how to be safe while zipping. We paused for a photo and then we were in a bus heading to a chair lift where we would be taken to the top of the mountain.
Here I would just like to pause and say that I had never been on a chair lift before. Whenever I have gone skiing I have always stuck to the bunny slopes or the face of the mountain, if I have been on a ski lift before, then I can only imagine that I blocked it out. That being said, the ride was beautiful. I could see the presidential range off to my right and all the flora and fauna below us as we rose ever higher was lovely.
At the top there was an amazing view, until you realized that you would soon be hurtling through it at a top speed of 65 miles an hour. With the added bonus of not slowing down, because you might get stuck hanging in the middle of the line. The Bride and her Maid of Honor were first being the two most adventurous (read reckless) of us. They waved good bye and were gone on a wind of screams and laughter. Slowly in teams the group dwindled until it was just me and my partner looking down the longest zip line in New England.
There was no turning back or chickening out now. There was only being strapped to the line, being cinched in, and falling. We counted to three and were gone screaming, laughing, and crying through the air. I wanted to slow it all down and look at everything, and I had to continually remind myself to breath and not slow down until the guides at the platform told me to. At first it felt like my heart was in my throat, but then I had the thought that I needed to take everything in and enjoy the ride. When was I ever going to be stupid enough to do this again? So, I did. I took all my nervous energy and put it into holding on and looking around experiencing as much of the ride as I could.
The last zip line felt like a letdown after such a long first ride. Again, we were the last in our group, but this time I didn’t even consider slowing down. I knew that the faster I went the sooner it would be done. When we both got to the bottom everyone clapped and headed for the shop to have our gear taken off. My need to pee came back magically as if my body had put the need on hold while I was risking my life. (Thanks body!) The rest of our day was full of more hurtling down the mountain, first in a giant slide and then on an alpine rollercoaster.
In the end I am very glad that I participated. Even if I did complain and worry and do a bunch of stuff I wasn’t truly comfortable with. It is true what they say about getting out of your comfort zone. You need to do it every once in a while, to really be able to enjoy and appreciate the every day.
Special thanks to the Bride, Maid of Honor, and their Sister for always putting up with me and loving me anyway.