Angels on the Zip Line

I will write about my adventures on a daily basis. You can read about my drive down to West Virginia here and find out why I cried at the dinner table our first night at the resort. This entry is about conquering a fear.

June 5, 2011

Last night, I got very little sleep. Right before bed, I watched Conan O’Brien. He made fun of a guy in the audience who was pointing at him very creepily as he walked in. He compared his stare and point to that of the grim reaper ….Needless to say, I woke up in the middle of the night and thought the grim reaper was pointing at me. Turns out, it was the fire extinguisher.

I continued to have dreams that only Stephan King himself could imagine…

***

We woke up early for our canopy tour aka zip line tour. I was feeling pretty confident, but I was nervous. I thought about a conversation Justin and I had just days before we left. We were at a local pub on a whim enjoying a beer together; deciding the night was simply too beautiful to sit inside all night.

“So – what are you most looking forward to on our vacation?” Justin asked me.

“Ummm an escape from everything,” I said quickly.

He agreed, but said, “No seriously- what do you think you are most excited for?”

I thought for a minute, but I knew my answer the entire time.

I looked away to the small child walking across the street with her father. She has the rest of her life ahead of her….to do daring things, explore fantasizing places and meet inspiring people. But then I heard a car drive by quickly….the sound broke my day-dream spell and I was reminded of my true answer once again…

I looked back at Justin.

“You know- I’m honestly looking forward to doing something that I absolutely terrified of doing,” I said.

He looked at me confused. So I went on.

“When Rick and Corey died in car accidents right before I went away to college, I became terrified of everything,” I said. “I was reminded that nothing is certain, especially your time here….and I couldn’t ever drive anywhere without thinking of a car accident happening…I didn’t even want my parents drive to work. I was just so scared….”

I paused and held back my tears.

“If you would have asked me to go on this trip even two years ago,” I stopped- “I wouldn’t have done it. There is no way in the world. But with you, and us – you inspire me to try to new things…I’m really just looking forward to…living. Finally.”

And I meant it.

It didn’t mean I wouldn’t be scared.

It didn’t mean I wouldn’t be scared of the equipment breaking and me falling to my death…

But it DID mean, I was ready to conquer a fear.

And as I said to Justin that night…I was ready to live on the edge. Literally.

***

Thankfully, we had an amazing group of people on the zip line tour. And I did manage to meet an older man named Frank, who was actually more afraid to do the zip lines than me (believe it or not).

After a short overview of the equipment, we were off to the mountain riding in a short bus. The guides joked that the only reason we wear helmets was for the bumpy bus ride.

When we reached what felt like the top of the mountain, I got butterflies.

What in the WORLD am I doing? I thought. I started to think about the countless things that could go wrong….

We stepped out of the bus and I was afraid to move. I didn’t want to look down at the view below.

“Babe!” Justin yelled.

He is fearless and wasted no time checking out the river down below.

“You have got to see this view!” Justin yelled again.

“Um- NO! I am JUST fine over here,” I yelled back. But suddenly, I started walking toward him. It was as if someone was pushing me as my mind definitely was not interested in seeing the view….I kept walking to my hubby.

I didn’t get too close to the edge…all it would take is one bump or a trip over a rock and I was a goner….

That’s when I saw it. The river…and it looked like the size of veins on leg.

Yup – we are definitely up here….I started to walk toward the school bus. Will anyone notice if I leave?

Maybe I can just hid under the…

“Alright- everyone come over here!” the guide yelled at the group. “Come close so you can hear me!”

Justin – of course- was the first in line. He was like the kid waiting to see Santa Claus at the mall…Justin wanted to be the first one on Santa’s lap…the first to experience the rush.

Turns out, we were the second ones to go. Frank went first- which was HILARIOUS.

“You ready?” Justin with a huge smile.

When you watch the video, you can see that as I am getting hooked up to the line…I whisper to him with a deer in headlights look on my face, “I am going to shit my pants.”

And I’m surprised I didn’t.

I was hooked up, but my mind still said I wasn’t going to go. I wasn’t going to jump off the ledge.

“ONE….TWO…..THREE!” the guide yelled.

Suddenly, my body moved without hesitation. It was like someone was there pushing me…not like a shove. But a gentle push- nothing more than a slight breeze…and I was off.

Screaming.

Flying through the mountains.

Living.

I was thankful for that extra “breeze” that pushed me along.

The first time I was so nervous I didn’t look at the view. I just looked straight ahead at the landing pad, hoping I didn’t miss it. If I did….then I would fall back and get stranded in the middle of the zip line..only to be rescued hours later….

The second zip line came easier, and the view got better…probably because I was actually looking at the world around me.

After we landed, Frank came flying in.

“Frank- you did great! Did you see the water down there?” I asked.

“The only water I saw was running down my leg!” Frank yelled back.

I love Frank. End of story.

On the ride back to the resort, Justin leaned over and kissed my cheek, “I am proud of you! Did you have fun?”

“Yeah, actually I did,” I said. “I had a blast. But I really didn’t want to go at all. I mean, I definitely told myself I was NOT jumping off that cliff on our first zip line.”

“Well, what made you go?” Justin asked.

“I don’t know,” I said. “Well- I do know. I am pretty sure I had some angels out there blowing a little extra breeze my way.”

Grandpa Larry, Rick, Corey and Brittany are just a few of the angels in Heaven…that I believe were with me that morning. My angels in the sky; my angels on the zip line.

Turns out- the zip line tour was my favorite part of our vacation- well minus, eating and drinking like a frat boy the whole week and only gaining two lbs. Don’t worry- I busted my butt and already lost my vacation weight that I gained last week! 🙂 (Almost 20 lbs down for the year!!!!!!!!!!!!)

I will tell you one last thing, I’ll zip line every single chance I get for the rest of my life. I might even build one from our house to the Semon’s house…do you think the Homeowners Association in our neighborhood will approve? Maybe after a few drinks….

Much love,
Ashley

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