So here’s the thing…I’m not really afraid of heights in the way that many are. I don’t panic, I don’t break out in a cold sweat…well, most of the time, anyway. I just really, really don’t like them.
I so zipline every single chance I get. I love the feeling of flying free, soaring through the air, free as a bird. It’s such a liberating feeling!
Yet, the only reason I do it is because I am totally strapped in and I feel 100% safe and secure in that harness. I know that the double cable system works. I’ve never heard of a zipline cable snapping, and of someone plummeting to their untimely death. Have you? Wait – don’t answer that. If you have, I will totally freak out and never be able to zipline again!
There’s a moment in ziplining when you have to unlatch your harness from one checkpoint hook to another while you’re changing lines…that right there? SHEER TERROR. Cold sweats. I want to cry. I want to vomit. I cling to our guide and beg him to save my life. It’s in that moment that I am sure a strong wind will pass by and blow me off the platform to my inevitable death.
Yeah, sometimes I can be dramatic. It happens.
Anyway, all of these thoughts are racing through my mind last year as I am on a press trip in Chattanooga, Tennessee, and we are preparing to go HANG GLIDING. Then we arrive and I catch a glimpse of that we are hang gliding over…and I am SCARED.
There aren’t any harnesses strapping you to safety. You’re strapped in to a KITE basically. A huge kite.
So I am freaking out…but I am resolved to do it anyway. I find a pussy willow and I make a wish “Please don’t let me die today.”
I plaster on a big fake smile and gear up.
I cheese a little for the camera. If I am going to die while hang gliding over this field in Chattanooga, I am going to go out in style, guys. I am going to leave a legacy of badassery. I am determined.
Plus, for some reason, that helmet looked really cute on me.
Then comes the part of getting strapped in…by a really cute bearded mountain man. That made it easier to handle. I figured if we fell out of the sky, at least I’d die next to a hot guy.
Y O L O!!!!
All that stood between me and death was this thing….
And you know what? Once we got into the air, it turned out to be totally fine, and I never felt any shaking, jerking around – none of the things that I had thought would make me freak out once we got up there. It was actually incredibly peaceful and serene….
The view was amazing! Even our lading was totally soft and didn’t scare me at all. It’s one of those things that I am SO GLAD I DID, despite my fears…which is really how I usually feel after facing my fears head on and doing it anyway. I’d highly recommend hang gliding if you haven’t done it before!
You can find out more about Lookout Mountain Hang Gliding in Chattanooga at Hanglide.com. Big thanks to the Chattanooga department of tourism for sponsoring my ride!