As Mark Twain said “if you do what you’ve always done, you get what you’ve always got.”
His words rang true recently as I stepped beyond my comfort zone more steps than I thought I could.
For weeks leading up to my visit to Long Point Eco-Adventures, I had been anticipating, dreading and scheming how to get out of the zip-lining canopy tour. I even chatted to my Physiotherapist for confirmation that it most likely wasn’t a good idea ….”no, you’re fine to go ahead”. Okay, I thought , a 5 minute zip-line, I can probably do…..but no ,the zip line canopy tour is 2 2/1 hours long with 8 different zip lines. Watching the video online supported my fears. My 26 year old daughter watched it and said “mom, I can’t say anything that would encourage you to do this because I wouldn’t do it.”
But, mind over matter is a strong thing. I am going to act like I am doing it until I get tethered into position then decide. A good strategy ? I’m not sure, but it has worked in the past. In Mexico, last year, I didn’t think I could explore an underground river system through caves for hours in a wet suit and helmet with head lamp in total darkness. . After suiting up in my short wet suit (not a flattering look, I must say), I walked to the opening of the first cave , telling myself I could change my mind at any time. A few steps in , wading through water, I kept reminding myself, it wasn’t too soon to leave. Soon distracted by hanging stalactites and stalagmites squillions of years old I found myself wading and swimming through deep water in successive caves. After about an hour I realized I was so fascinated by it all, I forgot to be afraid.
Almost everyone I told about the zip-lining tour said ” I could never do that.” I wasn’t sure I could do it either. But once the day arrived, my heart pounded, my stomach lurched, and I was quite sure I couldn’t go through with it. After putting on harnesses, helmets, and gloves, we did a low practice zip-line where Amanda and Paige, incredibly patient staff, walked us through the how to’s including the ever necessary slowing down . We then climbed to the top of the main building, and were basically told to jump off. I was shaking with fear and felt sick and seriously didn’t think I could go ahead. Amanda said she would hold onto my clip so I wouldn’t jerk as I let go after I was released from standing on a stump. She asked me if I was ready, and I said “no, but lets do it anyway.”
The experience proved to me that we can push ourselves waaaaay past our comfort zone, and go ahead anyway.
My new motto is “feel the fear and do it anyway”. It was an empowering experience and makes me feel I can do anything . Our minds are incredibly strong, and we just need to push ourselves. Afterwards, I was pumped with adrenaline wondering when I could zip-line again.
photos: Jeff Thomason
For full article in The Kitchener-Waterloo Record and The Guelph Daily Mercury: http://www.guelphmercury.com/living/travel/article/778245–travel-outdoor-adventures-near-lake-erie
more information on Long Point Eco Adventures: http://www.lpfun.ca, 1-877-743-8687