Terri Kaiser

Yes, that’s me! I zipline! Really!

Our grandkiddos came for a visit in July and we took them ziplining after doing a bit of research to make sure it was safe. Now, it’s a challenge to entertain teenagers as they are easily bored when hanging with the old folks, and we have two teenagers, Anna and Jack, and ten-year old Lauren.

I have long had a fear of heights and a healthy aversion to anything that requires athletic ability, so it came as quite a shock that I should be ziplining. Many years ago, I nearly had ‘the big one’ when I saw our seats at a Brewer game. There was no way I was going to walk the narrow walkway to our seats. Honestly, I just couldn’t put one foot in front of the other to get there. Luckily, we were able to get better seats. Then there was the time we took our kids up the Sears Tower in Chicago. I stepped out of the elevator, but that’s as far as I got. I pressed my back against the wall and through the use of deep breathing exercises, prevented myself from sinking down to the floor to lay in a fetal position. Every so often, I think I may have conquered my fear of heights, but then something comes along that puts me back to square one.

So, what possessed me to think I could zipline?

I think I wanted to experience the adventure with the grandkids more than I was going to allow myself to be afraid. Otherwise, I can’t come up with a decent explanation.

And it was a beautiful experience. First of all, you are tethered to the line in three ways so falling really isn’t an issue unless something catastrophic happens like an earthquake or a volcano or the polar caps melting and flooding the Earth. And I truly felt safe. Stepping off the initial platform up in the tree was exhilarating to say the least. Gliding through the trees like a bird was magical. At one point, when quite high up, the trees parted and we flew over a lake. I was mesmerized.

I was also a bit worried about the youngest grandchild, Lauren, deciding this wasn’t her cup of tea, but in the past, she’s been a trouper at keeping up with her older brother and sister. Well, my little sweetheart came through again. In fact, she may be the more daring of the three. She hung out there with the best of them and a big grin on her face all the way.

The older two, Anna and Jack, had a great time as well and Grammy has some wonderful pictures to prove it. With a little luck our status with them has been upgraded a bit.

Now my fear is, how do we beat that? Possibly, we don’t unless, maybe, sky diving? Not on your life!! Our ziplining trip my just be one of those highlighted memories we hope will last for quite some time. Although, Tom and I would be game to do it again.

Actually, the true triumph here is that I didn’t embarrass myself, although I will admit to a tiny bit of panic as they strapped me in. Thankfully, it quickly dissipated with the promise of a great time with my favorite kiddos. I then flung my old bones off the platform and glided along on the hands of fate and faith that should I go splat, they could all say ‘at least she tried’.

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