I checked it out online first - an aerial obstacle course with zip lining. Sure, no problem, I thought to myself. Mind you, prior to this moment, I had been the least confident person in my body ever, especially when it came to anything that took coordination and balance. Plus, I was afraid of heights!
There were three options and of course, everyone in the group I was with wanted to do the most difficult one! I chose the beginner's. The friend who had invited me along, was a good sport, and did the "easy" course with me. She stayed by me the whole time, even as I I shook as I moved across each obstacle, and even though my friend is super coordinated and fearless, she was a good sport and a good support; and stayed with me. I moved slowly along, coaching myself the whole time. The rest of the group finished the course long before me and repeated it a couple of times.
My whole body shook as I moved from one obstacle to the next. In amazement, I made it through swinging ropes, the uneven steps, the ladders, and so on. At one point, I was up in the air going across a rope ladder - from one tree to the other, and while I was mid-way I started laughing. I laughed out loud! I was laughing at myself for attempting to move across this rope, mid-air, as if I was in good shape (which I wasn't) as if I knew how to climb a rope going sideways 30 feet up (which I didn't) but now I was in the middle of it - I had made it to there, so it only made sense to keep going! Knowing the best thing I could do is step upward... because the plank on the other end was further up than the one I started on, I reached my leg out and landed on a piece of rope. Can you guess? My foot went down! Now I had to climb up & across at the same time in order to get to the other side. I coached myself through the entire thing. I told myself "you can do it, trust yourself" and I did! Phew!!
Next came the zip lines - the words from the Matrix (one of my favorite movies) came to me - 'don't think about it, just do it' - It took several minutes to get my courage up. My friend waited on the other end of the line while I psyched myself up for it. At last I took the plunge! And there I was flying across the mountain waaaaaay up high!! And I yelled out loud as I went across. It was actually fun! But, each time I got to one end of the mountain, I had to get up onto a plank, go to the other side, and get onto another line. Each time I went through the same process of getting my courage up, using the words from the Matrix - "don't think about it, just do it" and by the end, the last few lines, I was zipping down that mountain having the time of my life!
One of the biggest things I learned that day was, I can do it! My body is capable. I have the strength, the coordination, the balance, and the know-how. It amazed me that my body just operated - before I even had a chance to think about what I needed to do, my body was doing it!
Toward the end, (on the second to last line) I was going across and didn't quite have enough umph to make it to the plank.... I started going back in the other direction, and ended up getting stuck in the middle! Now, before this moment, I would have thought I would have panicked, but I didn't! I just "hung out" there! What else could I do? I hung out there... and eventually a worker came along and through a rope over the line. He told me to hold onto it and he pulled me to the other end. It was in slow motion compared to how I had whipped across those lines and when I got to the plank it took all my strength to pull myself up onto it. I did it!
That day I learned how to count on my body's strength, coordination, and balance. To my surprise and delight, I learned it wasn't something I had to learn or even figure out, I just needed to trust.