Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Good Day

So yesterday my mom wanted to take the boys to a place called Tree to Tree Adventure Park.
It's located near Gaston, Oregon. Some friends of ours had gone and they said it was "awesome"
I love the challenge! I love to be pushed! I love to do something new! But this was hard!
At the end of a gravel road about 1.5 hrs from our house you come across woods with what looks like hamster trails built high up in the trees (see pic above). To be honest when I first looked at them from the ground they didn't look too high. (my perspective would change)

I was both comforted and terrified by the lack of hands on help this place gives. Comforted because I get impatient with all that safety talk. I figure the guide is there along the way to help right??? After paying and receiving your harness you turn around and watch a safety video. The video was presented on a screen hanging by the door with lots around to distract you. It was short and to the point and I feared my children had not paid close enough attention. But I figured there would be a guide with us so I didn't worry to much about it...

Turns out the guides stay on the ground. Offering encouraging words and helpful advice as they watch you far above trembling and hanging on for dear life. They seemed to notice if you are stuck or maybe place your lobster claw in the wrong place endangering your life.

This was scary enough for me but realizing both my kids (especially my 12 year old) were on their own was making me one nervous moma!
Have you ever had that experience where you are up high, on something narrow and you start shaking? Shaking so bad that it will knock you off of whatever you are so scared of falling off? I hate that! It happened to me a time or to. It is impossible to make yourself stop shaking!
Maybe I should be honest and tell those of you who don't know that I am not a fan of heights. To be clear I'm not neurotic! Its a healthy well placed fear. I'm not one to stand back from a window in a sky scrapper or not look over the edge of a cliff. But there is a point, a fine line where if I get too close to the edge (say a tiny platform high in a tree) or there is nothing holding me back, wall, window, fence, I get this creepy crawly sensation up my back that I can't stand! That goes for my kids as well! If I perceive they are too close to an edge I get the same feeling and scream at them to back up!

The picture above is Josh standing on a very small platform 65' in the air! Notice I'm on the ground. I calmed myself by taking pictures :)
At this point Mom, Ty, Josh and I had had all completed the training course, Green, blue and red courses. We had been risking our lives and pushing through our fear (well I had!) for almost three hours. These courses are tough! They progress like ski runs. Green easiest all the way to double black.

The Blue course was tough! Scary and tiring and I was sooo proud when I finished it! However, it was on the red course that I begin to feel that this really wasn't a good idea and I didn't want any part of it. Each course gets a little higher in the trees. Apparently somewhere between the blue course and red course I had reached my limit. I was a nervous wreck even standing on those impossibly tiny platforms.
There was a problem. I am also competitive. There was no way that between the 12 year old and my Mom that I was going to be the one that wimped out! (I knew Josh would beat me, its a given!)

Then I saw something that made me laugh! I was the one in the group that is afraid of heights but my Mom is terrified of spiders! In one section you zip line right into a giant spider web, complete with huge fake spiders! Hilarious for me, not for my Mom who truly hates the creatures, real or fake. It bolstered my spirits and I completed the red course. I was praying that Mom didn't want to do the black course.
This is a section of the black course. I was thanking my lucky stars that I had stopped after red! While every other section or "event" as they call them you have some impossible obstacle course to "walk" on from tree to tree in this section you must leap from platform to platform. I realize this is a head game. If these were on the ground no problem. But when you put them 65' in the air I don't care if you do have a safety harness on it is scary!

I was so proud of Josh. He was nervous, but he completed the entire black course. I'm sure it was somewhat unnerving that he had to wait for 15 min on this tiny platform for a guy older than him to cross. This poor guy was crying. We could all hear him. We all silently cheered for him to make it. When he did we gave him a round of applause.

I'm zoomed in on him. He's 65' feet up walking on a wire with logs placed along the way that he has to navigate around. He takes the time to smile at Mom! Thanks Josh!

Even though I knew I had a safety harness on and I was pretty sure I was clipping in correctly each time....I had a high motivation not to fall. It wasn't fear of death or injury that made me work so hard to stay on the stupid swinging wire or tiny piece of wood suspended high in the air. It was humiliation. I was certain that if I fell I would not have the upper body strength required to pull myself back up onto the course. I had strong images in my head of myself dangling there mid trees until I was rescued by 6 teenagers and 14 pulleys. That was not going to happen to me!

With words of encouragement from my family and my lovely 15 year old staying behind with me to show me how to do it and a determination to not become the side show at the park that day I did not fall! I have blisters on my hands and I can't make a fist today without pain but I'm also not the one they will talk about for years to come :)

But I loved it! I love pushing through fear and coming out a winner on the other side. It's important to give yourself that opportunity!

If you look closely you can see Josh up and to the right. This is a perspective shot.

I was told by the guide (on the ground, standing next to me) that this is the section that people have the most trouble with. Its really hard to keep those logs steady. They are not connected together. They are like swings for people with large backsides....You have to get across them....I'm so thankful I didn't go on the black section!

Josh demonstrating how challenging it is to get from one log to the next. There are 7 before you get to the next platform!

It was an awesome experience! So proud of Ty who took the lead showing us how to navigate each obstacle and clipped himself in correctly each time! So proud of my Mom who didn't slow anyone down! I suspect no one realized she was the grandma in the group! So proud of Josh and his fearlessness and also thankful he clipped himself in correctly each time!

So proud of myself and so grateful I didn't end up hanging around needing to be rescued!

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