It was different this time. We all knew what we were doing. There was no surprise, no uncertainty of what clothing we should wear, no fear of the unknown….yet. We met up at 9 AM in Sterling to make the hour drive to Harpers Ferry, WV. If the place sounds familiar, it is just that. We had our first adventure in the exact same spot two and a half years ago. Remember white water rafting? We should have known this one would test us. For some reason, I was not worried at all. I know, crazy. That changed. I am certain that does not shock you. The drive was everything it always is for us. Therapeutic and hilarious. We were sad that Tracy, Stacy, Maryhelen and Kelly could not join us. Our kids are getting older and a couple of their children had birthdays and the Army took our Tracy all the way to Tennessee. We considered this an adventure between adventures because four of our compadres were missing. Tina brought her helmet cam this time and here is a little video of her testing it out on our car ride. Notice I am in the middle so I can easily see the scary bridges and speed limit signs.
Why, Beyonce, Why?
I am quite certain it was Patty that sang the first couple of bars of Irreplaceable. “To the left, to the left everything you own in a box to the left.” I spent the next 7 hours trying to remember if the next line was, “in the garage, that’s my stuff.” I even swore up and down that was the next line. Cut to my parents house later that night when my sisters googled it for me. Beyonce’s stuff was actually in the closet, not the garage. Sorry, I was so insistent. I was wrong. Moving on.
Our Bodies, Ourselves. We are all unique.
Once we all paid and Tina bought her 100th snack (peanuts) we walked over to where our “costumes” for this adventure were laid out. We pulled our harnesses up and were told to tighten. My harness was not feeling “right” on my lady parts. I asked the girls if they were having the same problem. They all seemed fine. I used this as a teaching moment. “Some of us just may be set up differently.” I was feeling more than a little unique, but about 20 minutes later was relieved to find out that most of the girls were set up just like me! The take away: Man made harness. Another take away: the new rule of not smiling on drivers license pictures makes Tina look like a fugitive.
Here we go again…on our own?
We have never been guide-less. We have always had some guy (usually pretty darn good looking) guiding us through our adventure. This time we were treated to a 5 minute class of safety. We were not allowed to practice because 20 five year olds had recently jumped on the wires. We were confused, but didn’t question. We knew Heather was listening and would remember….or would she? There really was a lot to remember and we knew we were in for a definite challenge having only ourselves to rely on this time. We were given two choices. Easy course or intermediate. If we completed the intermediate we could move to black diamond. We had two hours to complete what we were able. We decided immediately to do the intermediate. Wait, allow me to edit that. Everyone, BUT Patty and I, decided on the intermediate.
Ladders, ropes, wires…oh my.
Only three people were allowed on each canopy at once so we split into two groups of three. Lisa, Heather and myself were first. We climbed up the first tree and stood on the canopy. The canopy is a teeny, tiny piece of wood wrapped around the tree. The first obstacle was pretty simple and low to the ground. We had two wires to hold on to and we just had to walk across the log to the next canopy. From there it was two hours of pain, of struggle, of fun and eventually accomplishment.
Is this thing on?
How many adventure girls does it take to put on a helmet cam? This made me laugh so hard. This is so who we are in a nutshell. Helpful, dependant on one another, and most of the time coming in at a solid 7 on the clueless scale. It never stops us, though. We always have someone who knows something and we are a perfect fit for one another. My favorite line in this clip? Tina asking Patty, “Is this centered mama?” Funny yes, but funnier because of the cock-eyed helmet on Patty’s head.
It’s gonna hurt.
Heather was our fearless first, AGAIN. Lisa and I followed her lead and passed along the instructions to Patty, Suzy and Tina for the second obstacle. Basically, we said “The wires will tear into your skin and you will feel like death is knocking on your door, but hold on tight anyway.” Of course they rocked it. But a few obstacles later we were facing the obstacle that almost broke Heather, Lisa and I. The TIGHTROPE.
Barnum and Bailey will not be calling anytime soon.
Heather was first and looked like a pro. We all continued to talk and watched as Heather methodically made her way across the tightrope obstacle. It wasn’t until she made it to the other side that we realized the magnitude of this particular one. She looked over at us and said, “That was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. ever.” Let me put it to you like this. Heather is a bada&*. When she says something is difficult I hyperventilate. Lisa went next and made it to the other side…barely. It was excruciating to watch and not be able to help….we were all clipped to trees for crying out loud. I was next and I am sure you can guess what happened….I fell. My big ol’ butt landed on the tight rope wire and wrapped around it for dear life. Who knew my bootie had survival instincts? I was scared out of my mind, but finally pushed myself off of the tight rope wire and used my hands to shimmy over to the other side. I am so thankful for the encouraging words. Patty, Tina and Suzy watched from the other canopy and had the good sense to treat this obstacle as a zipline. Why in the world did we not think of this? We were watching from the other canopy in disbelief that we were stripped of our skin…and dignity, when we could have just gone for a ride.
Where is the ground?
We continued through the course and had so much fun. This was quite possibly one of the most challenging adventures, but it was a beautiful day and once again we pushed ourselves beyond what we thought possible. My husband said, after hearing a recap of the day, “your next adventure should be a group massage and wine tasting. You all deserve a little downtime.” I am down with downtime. Please enjoy a video of our day by way of Tina’s head. I hope it inspires all of you to get out there with good friends and LIVE LIFE…no matter how high the obstacle may seem I promise your friends will be there to break your fall…or your a$* will. Either way, YOU CAN DO IT!!!
Also, I promise Suzy wasn’t the only one that completed this adventure. She was just right before Helmet Cam Tina so most of the footage is of her. Thank goodness….she is fearless so pretend that is what we ALL looked like…:)