It was a sheer drop. My heart was beating as hard as drum rolls at a college party. I had seen 7 others go before me and knew that it would be over in 10 seconds. I also knew that I would be pushed off without mercy in the next minute if not less. I chanced a pleading look behind. My husband nodded in the negative. He was next in line but sporting a grin. Oh, that man can look calm even if faced with a cage of lions gone hungry for a year, I angrily mused.
I was staring unblinking at the bottom. It seemed to be plunging deeper by the second. I should have looked at the other end, where beaming faces would have encouraged me. But no, like a deer about to be swallowed whole that cannot but help but continue looking mesmerized into an anaconda’s hypnotic eyes, I fixed my gaze on the ground.
“How do you want to go?” jovially asked the man about to shove me off that tiny ledge. “I just want to reach the other end.” , I squeaked. Without so much as reply, he did what I had been dreading for the last ten agonizing minutes, pushed me off. I shut my eyes and tried to ignore the blood roaring in my ears and fear racing through my ears.
I sneaked a peek to see trees whizzing by, and dizziness creeping fast on me. I had lost sight of both ends to my increasing panic. I opened my mouth. To this day, I don’t know if it was to breathe or scream. But before I could act on any wild impulses, I heard a jubilant voice, “You’re here!” I saw seven beaming faces I had last seen on that tiny ledge. Before I had even calmed my thundering heart, my husband jumped into my vision.
“You did it!” He congratulated me. Oh yes! I had done it. I had actually ziplined from one tree to another. As in many situations in life, I had dreaded the plunge, battled the fear of unknown and failure, built up plenty of excuses, and almost chickened out at the last minute. But after actually taking the leap, I realized that it was no big deal and I could actually do it again. With a smile, a braver me waited my turn. This time, when asked “How do you want to go?”, I answered with a grin, “Surprise Me!” And I laughed all the way.
*Ziplining for the non-Googler: A zip-line consists of a pulley suspended on a cable mounted on an incline. It is designed to enable a user propelled by gravity to travel from the top to the bottom of the inclined cable, usually made of stainless steel, by holding on or attaching to the freely moving pulley. Zip-lines come in many forms, most often used as a means of entertainment.