Kokomo — “This right here is what we call: A leap of faith,” John Galloway told me as we stood 33 feet in the air overlooking Tipton County Pork Festival on the new zip line attraction. And, let me tell you, those 33 feet felt far taller; especially if you asked my stomach or the 6 million butterflies just partyin’ it up in my gut.
The zip line – in all its elements that make a height-fearing woman feel like the normal application of deodorant was far too little – also sways; just a tad, but enough that the sweat glands in your palms and bottoms of your feet start opening like Niagara Falls.
So, there I am… all swampy sandal feet, scribbling quotes into a notebook while simultaneously and unsuccessfully trying to grip the railing. Basically, I’m scared as… [Let’s play a little game called, fill in the blank, here].
Galloway, who owns Zip Line Adventures with his wife and grandchildren who are earning their ways through college with the business, sensed my unease and reassured me with words that I only interpreted in my mind as: “I’m going to fall to my death and look like the tenderloin I just saw walk by… with extra ketchup.”
“This has been completely safe. There have been no accidents— with one exception,” Galloway said with a pause, which nearly shut all my organs down with fear: “WHAT’S THE EXCEPTION?!!” I questioned not-so-calmly with deer-in-headlights panic. “Oh, an employee wasn’t following the rules and went down it without a harness. He broke both his ankles,” Galloway calmly replied.
For some reason, this anecdote eased me up a bit. Immediately, while still grabbing onto a railing with now neon-white knuckles, I thought: “Oh, cool. So, you can even go down this thing like some reckless crazy person and still not die. I’m good.”