Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

[friday]

September 6, 2013

A story of zip lining (and sweating)

(Continued)

Kokomo —

Then, I was introduced to that “leap of faith” in the context of MY leap of faith. I’ve never fainted before, but I’m pretty sure I know the process leading up to fainting now. And, it includes an insane amount of sweating. Like, think that one sweaty dude who is always sitting in some dimly lit corner at nearly every dive restaurant you’ve ever been to. That kind of sweaty. Nerves aren’t pretty, folks. And, sometimes, girls don’t glisten; they sweat.

So, here I am, lifestyle-editor-turned-dive-restaurant-sweaty-guy harnessed into a suit and getting looped into the zip line cord. Then, Galloway drops a handful of knowledge on me: “Oh, you can’t hold on to the handle bars, it’d carry all your weight and not be as much fun.”

“UM, WHAT WAS THAT?!,” I ask, while my quivering develops into shaking. I’d been eyeing those handlebars as my refuge from this height-stricken nightmare the whole time. You know those pictures women in labor focus on during the pain? Yea, those handlebars were my “focus picture” and my nerves were far bigger than any eight-pound baby.

Nonetheless, after an internal panic, I obliged. Then, I was asked to stand on a little circle that raised me about three inches higher into the air. At this moment, thoughts swirled from “Why me?” to “I can’t do this.” Then they opened the door that protected me from the people (seemingly ants at this point) watching below. I know these people meant nothing by it, but at that moment all I could think about was: “I’m going to fall to my death while Judy from the bank and Susie from the salon are chatting over a funnel cake.” Not happy thoughts. Also, not fans of “Judy” or “Susie” in this moment.

Then, I stood there. Frozen. “Um, I can’t do this,” I said.

Some background on my fear of heights: I once waited in line at Cedar Point with friends for three hours to start to sit in a rollercoaster seat (well before it ever took off), freak out, then jump out and run. This happened. So, when I say I can’t do this and/or I’m high into the air, running usually ensues.

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