Tag Archives: super bowl

My Super Bowl XLVI Zipline Experience

This is a follow-up post from a couple of days ago. My plan was to face my fear of high places by heading to the Super Bowl Village in downtown Indy and experiencing the zipline: eight stories above ground level, you harness up and fly into the ether, tethered to a thin steel wire. 
Event day, pretty calm. Standing in line for an hour and a half, calm. Signing the waiver, calm. Getting the helmet and harness on. Calm. Eight-story steel stairway? Calm makes hasty exit. Eyes riveted to those horrid, hole-punched steel treads, my fingers unconsciously curled a death grip around the handrail. With each step, my body grew heavier, slower. I started chanting to God. People passed me. KIDS passed me. Halfway up, Wug put his hand on my back, and said, “are you gonna make it, honey?”

Flash back to a 1960’s family vacation at Mammoth Cave National Park. My family had reached the end of the cave tour, and it was time to exit via a metal staircase strategically located over what was touted as a “bottomless pit.” At six years old, I believed them. As an evil bonus, the steel stair treads had holes in them, and the railings were covered in condensation. My mom was carrying my little sister in one arm and holding my big sister’s hand. With no immediate hand to hold, I slipped.
Back to 2012. Fear had wound it’s tendrils from an unexpected place, and unwittingly revealed it’s roots. Thankfully, it didn’t stop me. Gratefully, the platform was ahead, and a kind young woman expertly hooked me to the cable and led me to the edge.
Airborne, weightless, all fear gone, the rush of wind propelled me through the sunshine, over the people below. The line spun me, and I kicked myself around, like a kid on a swing, screaming and whooping for the sheer joy of it. In 30 seconds, it was over. The guys at the end of the line hauled me to the platform and unshackled me. They asked, did I like it?
Seconds later, Wug joined me. Divested of our safety gear, we enjoyed the rest of our day hand in hand. Over burgers and beer, he heard the childhood Mammoth Cave story. No wonder, he said. At the conclusion of our perfect day, we were rewarded with a gorgeous sunset from the 11th floor of the parking garage where our car was parked.
Later that evening, a phone call to my parents brought us all back to that moment in Mammoth Cave National Park. They remembered that day pretty much the same way, and they were scared, too. When I told my dad about my stairwell trip that afternoon, and the zipline, he chuckled and said, “To each his own.”

Super Bowl XLVI Zipline and Fear

In following the creative path, there are many opportunities to face fears. Usually they have to do with paying bills, meeting deadlines, and fulfilling the hopes and wishes of others. But up at the top of a ladder propped at the apex of the garage next to my childhood home, I discovered a fear most powerful: the fear of heights.

Each fear represents a block to our true beauty, the inner spiritual being. The Dream Book: Symbols for Self Understanding by Betty Bethards.

No matter how many times this fear has been confronted, still it returns. To chip away at this terror habit, I decided to sign up for the zip line ride in Super Bowl Village here in downtown Indianapolis. This has taken some planning, and couldn’t wait until the last minute. The tickets have been pinned to the fridge for weeks now, simmering. Today at 3:00 PM EST, my dear Wug and I will be in line to face the demon. Holding his hand will divide the fear factor by two.

Why am I telling you this now? To add humiliation to the mix in case I chicken out. To give me incentive not to. Chicken out. So watch this space for some evidence that I have either succeeded or failed.
Please tell me I’m not the only one with fears, that I am not alone in this. Your brave comments are endearing to me and empowering to others.
P.S. Are those all guys in the photo?