My Zip Lining Adventure: Evidently Fear is Not a Factor For Me!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was fortunate enough to have been asked by Ford Canada to take part in their “Escape For A Day” adventure. The day included lunch and dinner, the chance to drive on a closed, professional driving course and a zip lining adventure at Lafleche Adventure Cave and Aerial Park.

One problem. I am terrified of heights! A trait I’m sure can be traced back to my mother, who avoids flying like the plague.

Looking back on how amazing the experience was, I thought about how I must have been perceived in the moments leading up to the big moment where I stepped off the ledge and hung suspended over the vast expanse of nothingness beneath my feet.

I have never been a very adventurous person, so the thought of hurling myself off a platform while hanging by a couple of clips wasn’t really sitting in my stomach very well. Up until this moment, one of the most dangerous things I had done was riding the banana boat with my friends in the Dominican Republic. There was also the time I jumped off the roof of my house into our pool but I was much younger and dumber back then.

I spent the better part of the morning with a gut wrenching knot in my stomach, worrying about whether I’d be able to pull it off or not. When the dark clouds began to form and the rain started pouring down, I breathed a great big sigh of relief. There was no way they would allow people to zip line in the rain. It would be far too dangerous. Better yet, now I don’t have to make a tough decision in front of all my blogging peers, 99% of which were women. My manliness would remain intact on a technicality!

Wrong!

We were immediately ushered into our meeting room and asked whether we’d like to do Zip Lining or Cave Exploration. Now the spotlight was on me and I had no idea what to do. My fear was evident and hopefully the people in the room that day know that I was 100% in my fear. There was zero attention seeking going on in that moment, my family was literally flashing before my eyes as I contemplated taking the leap.

The fear had just about taken over when the “zipping instructor” ( I don’t know what they’re called…) said that if I was scared, she would tandem zip with me. For some reason this made me feel more comfortable and I started getting suited up to zip! Looking back, I have no idea how the idea of tandem zipping would have made any difference in my fear of plunging to my death.

So I gathered up all my courage, kissed the picture of my family and marched up the mountain. Once I got there, I realized that there was nothing manly about tandem zipping so I decided to go at it alone. Realizing the longer I stood there the worse my anxiety would get, I decided to volunteer to go 2nd (going first is highly overrated!).

The only other pic that proves I did it, haha! Photo by @Tricia_Duggan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After a miniature anxiety attack, I spent the longest 30 seconds of my life staring at the edge of the platform before gently gliding off through the trees. In my head, I screamed like I was in a horror movie. To the crowd, I was smiling as if I’d done it a million times before. Pure exhilirating fear. That’s how I would best describe my first run.

By the time I had arrived at run 2, I was a seasoned pro and couldn’t wait to get on the line. Again, I have no idea why my brain felt safe all of a sudden, nothing had changed and the worst case scenario was still a 50 foot free fall with no parachute or water beneath me. Still, I threw out some hotdog moves and even pulled off a Shaka Brah although no one was there to see it.

I don’t know if there is a message in here for people. As an anxiety ridden person myself, I always scoff at the idea that you can do anything you put your mind to, especially when you don’t control the environment surrounding you. There’s always a downside or worst case scenario to things but I’m so happy that I chose to go with the upside of trying this experience out. I also don’t feel like a changed man. It’s just nice to know that fears can be conquered and that being scared of something doesn’t mean it is not worth trying.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I am going to go and chain myself to my desk!

Cheers!!

PS – I want to say a huge thanks to the people at Ford Canada for allowing me to take part in this experience. It was one of those once in a lifetime things for me and I’ll never forget it. I also want to thank all the incredible local bloggers I met that day. As a new blogger, I was starstruck throughout most of it and you all made me feel like one of the group from the get go. It was very much appreciated and a testament to the quality of people in our community.

40 replies
  1. Jen
    Jen says:

    Congratulations!! Sounds like an amazing experience! I am hoping to go zip lining (despite the fact that my head is telling me I’m nuts) next spring.
    Glad to hear that you were able to keep the screaming to inside your head LOL and had a big smile on your face!!

    Reply
    • Chris
      Chris says:

      Thanks Jen! It was totally worth it and I never felt in danger for even a minute of it….after I jumped of course, lol.

      Reply
  2. Georgia Read
    Georgia Read says:

    Hi son of mine….I’m so proud of you for doing this..I plan to do it one day as well..lol And please don’t bring your mother into your fears..LOL LOL I have flown a few times..doesn’t mean I have to like it…

    Love Mom…

    Reply
  3. Wendy [mapsgirl]
    Wendy [mapsgirl] says:

    That looked like so much fun!!!

    I can’t wait until I get to spend the day with Ford on Thursday! We’re going rock climbing!!

    Reply
  4. AlwaysARedhead
    AlwaysARedhead says:

    I am terrified of heights, and I too can put the blame on my mother but either way, bravo for you! I would have chosen cave exploration.

    Reply
  5. seattledad
    seattledad says:

    Awesome! Way to overcome your fear and go for it. I zip lined in Mexico a few years back. I have always had a fear of heights too, but when no one wanted to go first, I stepped up. It wasn’t so bad. It was actually a lot of fun.

    Reply
    • Chris
      Chris says:

      I don’t like to work my way up from things, I like to just go to the highest point and do it. That way I never have to do it again, haha. Loved your Shaka Brah though! Thanks

      Reply
  6. Jennifer
    Jennifer says:

    wow Chris!!! good for you! I hate heights too and it would have taken me a lot to get up there, it’s something about getting old, I did treetop climbing in a rainforest as a teenager but now? no thanks! lol

    Reply
    • Chris
      Chris says:

      It wasn’t the old for me, it was the family. The thought of never seeing your family again is a pretty strong motivator to stay grounded.

      Reply
  7. Brandy @insanemamacita
    Brandy @insanemamacita says:

    I am scared of heights too but somehow used to manage climbing on top of a tandem (semi) MACK truck on top of many bundles of lumber and hand bomb each individual piece to my dad below on the safe and secure ground.

    Good on you for doing this! You are a brave man!

    Reply
  8. Aeryn Lynne
    Aeryn Lynne says:

    I’m occasionally afraid of heights… as in, sometimes I can tell the ol’ brain to ignore that 50 ft drop, and sometimes… not so much. 😉

    I would *love* to go zip lining someday.

    Reply
    • Chris
      Chris says:

      It was so much fun Deanna! And yes, I was paralyzed with fear for about 30 seconds and then decided to “just do it” (Comment not sponsored by NIKE)!

      Reply
  9. Sandra
    Sandra says:

    How come nobody asks me to drive their Ford products?…just ’cause my front bumper is a little bit dented..sheesh…
    Just saw that you’ll be at Blissdom12. I’ll be at ShesConnected! I feel like I should be at two places at once so I can meet all of the Canadian bloggers!

    Reply
    • Chris
      Chris says:

      You just have to approach them Sandra. I know it’s not an easy thing to do but it’s totally worth it! I’ll be at SCCTO on Friday so maybe I’ll run into you there.

      Reply
  10. Journeysof TheZoo
    Journeysof TheZoo says:

    Good on YOU. No thanks for ME.

    Thanks for the comment on my Kitchen Sink post Chris. It appears that my post came across as A. Ed is NOT good at packing the van (he’s a true master) and that B. I DON’T pack a ton of cr@p. Totally not what I was going for except for highlighting the fact that I need undergarments.

    Love having “the other” perspective around.

    Besos, Sarah
    Zookeeper at Journeys of The Zoo

    Reply
  11. Lara
    Lara says:

    I would love to do it but think someone would need to push me off. Will they do that if you ask? 🙂 (when I was at camp when I was 10 they had a zipline. They had to push me 🙂

    Reply
    • Chris
      Chris says:

      Oh, they’ll push you! You may not even have to ask, lol. Once you climb up the hill to get there, there’s really no way to go but zipping to get down.

      Reply

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  1. […] Forward to a couple weeks ago and I had the opportunity to go spend a day with Ford Canada. More importantly, I got a chance to meet some of the most influential bloggers in Ottawa. Included […]

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