We thought it would be fun to surprise the boys with a afternoon hanging from trees. Raising kids is not for the weak. We were barely out of church when the nit picking had already begun. All of our intentions to have a great afternoon was not starting out the way we planned.
We headed to Birch Run to take the kids for breakfast at Tonys. From there, to Frankenmuth to go to Adventure Park for an afternoon of zip-lining.
Tonys restaurant was a bust, the line was half way out the door. Andy was looking bummed out. We went a couple lights up the road to eat at my least favorite place, Big Boy.
The kids found a few more reasons to make me question my parenting. But just when I was ready to go home defeated the check came. We continued to our destination in hopes the kids would be surprised, grateful and we would come together like the Beaver Cleavers.
When we pulled in the kids were smiling enough that they forgot they were enemies just a few minutes prior.
We all forgot the last 2 hours of back talking, arguing, bad breakfast and pouting.
Everyone had the same idea to swing from trees on this perfect 80 degree day. There was about an hour wait.
I needed the wait to get my courage up to tackle the heights. Not to mention the knowledge of the harness, all the clipping in, out and tazzling, or was it tizzling..
I looked at young kids and older people with more confidence. "Hmm, if they can do it I can do it!"
TRUSTING YOUR MECHANICS:
One of the first things I had to get used to was TRUSTING my mechanics. The ropes, the harness and the clips. If done right I was safe. I couldn't rely on my physical strength to get me to the other side of a 40 foot moving obstacle.
I needed to have faith in the equipment that I was attached to. This was very hard for me. I am the person that spends half their life looking for my keys and they are wanting me to do all that clipping? What if I forget something and go zipping between trees ending up toppling through the branches like a handicapped monkey?
Trust; Everything at the park was top notch. The park is just over a year old, the equipment, the cables and the harnesses was in great condition.
HARNESSING YOUR FEAR: We did 2 of the 5 obstacle courses. As a family we all did the green obstacle course. We stayed together as a family. We all coached each other, supported, and helped each other through the 40 minutes intermediate course.
However, we separated for our next obstacle course. Andy and Austin headed off the Black Diamond.
Alec and I looked at them like they were NUTS. Men with muscles were struggling over 40 feet in the air pitting out and wiping sweat off their face with each challenging step. Forget about the fact that their course was higher than ours, it was also more challenging hands done.
Alec wanted to do the green course again. I convinced him to harness his fear and dare to conquer the Blue Course.
The second obstacle really made me question my courage. I wanting to pee my pants. The obstacle had you about 30 feet in the air. You had to walk on a rope in between 2 ropes at shoulder length. You had to grip the rope in front of you and balance yourself on the little rope about 40 feet down to the end.
I was so scared. I knew I was secured in. Falling would be horrible even with the harness. Most of my fear came about half way down. "How is Alec going to do this?" I was so concerned for him. "Please God, let Alec have the courage to make it across." I prayed.
Alec, was as white as a sheet as he slowly approached me one step at time shimming himself with precision.
"Alec, I am so proud of you." I wanted to cry as a mother seeing him overcome his fear.
LET GO..JUST GO GO:
The course was so much fun. There is something empowering about conquering you fear and chewing on it!
I loved learning to trust not just myself but also trust the construction and design of the course.
The feeling of just releasing your grip on the tree and flying through the air towards the next tree was exhilarating.
NO ONE told me about the end. You have to free fall off a 40 foot tree, it might as well as been a NYC skyscraper. Andy,Alec and Austin walked me through the harnessing part. I looked down and freaked out "I am supposed to just jump off this ledge?" I quickly turned around to look for stairs. When I couldn't find any stairs I looked for another exit. "Mom, just turn around and drop." Austin coaxed me. It looked like suicide. No way. I looked for a worker. "HEY, is it true? I just jump?" I yelled at the guy in orange.
Laughing at me he confirmed my fear. My family was right. "Just walk off the ledge and LET GO MOM!" They all were screaming now.
People were looking at me and laughing. I was shaking. My hands were sweating.
"Just LET GO???"
Closing my eyes I walked to the edge and jumped. Down I went as easy as pie!
My legs were shaking so bad I just crumbled to the ground thanking God!
The boys were all laughing.
"I told you mom was going to have a hard time with that!" Andy chuckled.
Our afternoon started out a bit dysfunctional. We struggled with getting along with one another. The first challenge of the day started with coming together. We needed to forgive one another, build a bridge and get over it in order to enjoy a great family day.
We had a great day as a family. We bonded, we encouraged, we supported and we finished the day with love. And Love Conquers All.
Special Thanks to Thomas. He was a great help to us at the park. He shared the other location in Bloomfield Hills and invited us to try their 10 course park. The staff at the park was very helpful. Their laughter created a fun atmosphere.
SIDE NOTE..I am going to have a Guest next WEEK. Watch for Matt A's story next week!