I’ve known for some time now that I’m afraid of heights. I also realized that I don’t like being dependent and this is a dominant feeling which can be self-defeating.
My daughter and nieces went ziplining in Costa Rica a couple of years ago and raved about it. At the beginning of this year, I put it on my bucket list. I figured that I would address my fear of heights and the issue I have with dependence. After all, I’m putting my life in the hands of strangers and trusting that they would harness me safely and that all their equipment and their expertise are topnotch.
I finally went with my family last summer to Eaglecrest Aerial Park in Bracebridge, Ontario. I didn’t research what ziplining was. I assumed you get hooked up and you slide along a long line high above the ground. I was so excited when we were finally on our way to Bracebridge. Honestly, I felt like a kid at Christmas.
What I discovered when we arrived is that you have to do a lot of climbing before ziplining. I was so focused on climbing and following all the rules of safety that when I look down from a platform and realized how high up I was, I should have panicked. But I didn’t, probably because I knew I was always safely hooked on to something and because I knew this, I was bolder in my movements high above the ground. The whole experience was as I anticipated- exhilarating. I decided I would do it again.
I learned a couple of lessons from this experience:
1. Maybe having no notion about the ‘how’ was the beginning of ‘allowing’ others to do things for me during the climbing. I guess this is faith – the substance of things unseen.
2. This is the first time I tested myself so physically and discovered I was more agile than I thought. Self-limitations remain until tested.
3. The staff at Eaglecrest Aerial Park instructed me so I was prepared and secure. As a result, my movements were sure-footed and more bold than tentative. Translation: my actions in life can be bolder and sure-footed if I draw on my expertise and experience.
4. When I arrived, I looked up to get a general sense of what’s to come, then we were instructed and on and up we went. Translation: before I start anything, I should do the same – look up to see where I’m headed then determined what I have to do to get there. More importantly, not to assume some steps can be skipped.
5. To get ahead of yourself, you have to know what’s in your way. Then confront it and work on removing it in your own way. I chose ziplining.
6. I must get out of my usual surroundings often to see more and to see differently.
7. Always go to the experts. They are experts because they have years of experience, training and doing.