My husband always likes to plan activities that make me a little frightened. He was the one to take me on my first boulder-hugging hike in Vermont 18 years ago, and the fun continues to this day. For Christmas, he bought me a couple of adventures, including a high ropes course excursion. We finally got to take advantage of it this past Sunday.
I'm proud to say that I made it without tears, and I went to the highest level without needing to be rescued, both of which surprised me. I won't lie and say that my heart rate was normal the whole time, but I survived and it was a blast.
Here are my tips for a high ropes course, should you ever find yourself in that situation:
1) Try to go on a NON-windy day. As I was attempting to traverse thin wooden planks on the highest level, where each step is more like a leap because the boards are so far apart, a large gusty wind came through to make me rock, roll, and otherwise lose my tenuous balance.
2) Remember that these are family locales. As I inadvertently dropped a few choice words, my husband casually reminded me of that fact. It's a good thing to remember.
3) Work on your upper body strength before you go. I am now two days out and can hardly move my arms. I attribute this to the rope net that we had to climb sideways across, and the repeated leap-and-grab-a-rope elements. (Note: rope burns are possible, and in my case, highly likely)
4) Remember that you are attached, and you just have to have faith that all the structures are sound. They don't often feel sound during gusty moments, or when someone leaps for something and the whole thing shakes, but I had to trust that we would make it. The staff seemed competent. They also seemed to be laughing at me. But that's okay. I prevailed.
5) Go the distance. I saw a couple of people chicken out and max out on the second level, instead of doing all three height levels. I say, just do it. You will feel so much cooler afterward. All the cool kids are doing it.
Now I'm going to go alternate heating pads and ice packs on my arms and shoulders.