I just got back from an awesome trip to the Smoky Mountains with my family. Among the great sights and attractions, one of the coolest things we did this year was zip lining at a place called Next to Heaven. As this was a new experience for all of us, we all were very excited to try this unique and thrilling adventure. As this was completely out of my comfort zone, I was understandably nervous. I specifically had mixed feelings. I am not crazy about heights, but I knew I wanted to push myself to conquer my fears none the less. My last blog was about conquering fears so I needed to take my own advice and literally “Say Geronimo,” and soar over the trees. As we rode up the bumpy mountain road in an old pick-up truck our anticipation and excitement grew. There was a nervous energy amongst the group especially since all of us were first timers. The guides Dave and Travis were very kind and compassionate and went to great efforts to ensure our safety and comfort in this new experience we were all about to have. Many instructions were given and before we knew it, we were off ready or not to experience the thrill of zip lining through the gorgeous mountain scenery. I was the most nervous in my family as my daughter, son and husband seemed quite calm and collected. As each zip line was conquered, our confidence noticeably grew, especially my daughter’s. My greatest concern was the last zip line, as is was the highest and longest. I had been given a glove to help steady myself and brake when I got to the end. I did not need the glove until this line and I kept asking them to repeat the instructions as I was very scared. The guide even said to me “You looked stressed.” I guess I did not do a good job of hiding it. Well like it or not, I was off! I was on top of the world literally! I was soaring with such momentum however, that I panicked thinking there was no way I would hit that platform in time. In my stress I pulled down on the line with my glove and braked way too soon. The guide had to throw me a rope and pull me in a fair distance. All in all though, it was a great experience and the true highlight of our whole trip. Clearly I not only survived, but learned some important life lessons along the way on this zip lining adventure.
Life Is Short So Enjoy the Ride
Even though I was nervous, I reminded myself to try and enjoy this experience as much as possible because I knew it would be over all too soon. Life is like that too. We wish at times we could pause, fast forward or rewind certain phases of our lives, yet none of these options are possible. Every day is a gift and it is up to us to make the most of what we have been given. I chuckled when I observed a guide go on ahead of us zip lining with gusto upside down. It reminded me of people who have chosen to live each day to the fullest, having great joy along the way.
Listen To The Wise
We were provided great practical advice from people who had a wealth of experience. As I was nervous, I found that I was getting overwhelmed with the instructions and allowed fear to creep in. I kept thinking “I am not going to be successful at this!” Although I was given everything I needed to do well, my negative self talk got the better of me. I braked too soon. I was my own worst enemy. It was not that I did not trust what I had been told, but when fear set in, my actions went astray. This experience taught me to believe in myself more as it was clear that others believed in me and to not let fear rob me of an amazing experience.
Life Is A Learning Curve
No one is perfect at zip lining his or her first try. We are all beginners at first and like anything in life, it takes time to be really good at something. Whatever new challenges or adventures life hands you, be kind to yourself. Remember that every new task, job, or life challenge has a learning curve, so give yourself time to adjust. Before you know it, you’ll be the one shouting “Hee Haw” all the way, as you tape the whole memorable experience on your phone!
This Too Shall Pass
Stressful situations happen every day, but many do not last. Keeping a positive outlook and realistic vision for the future will keep you headed in the right direction. Looking back now, I am so happy I had the courage to do this and I know that when I am struggling with fear in the future, I will tell myself “If you can zip line over the Smoky Mountains, you got this!”
We’re All In This Together
This experience brought our family and group closer together. With a common purpose, we shared a very memorable adventure together that we will always remember. We did not have a camera, but one of our new friends took pictures of us and sent them to us. This was much appreciated. Life has a way of bringing people into your life at just the right time who will support you in your time of need. When I was literally hanging on for dear life, Dave our guide came to my rescue with sympathy and strong arms to bring me to safety. How grateful we are in life for those special people who come to our rescue with timely advice, a shoulder to cry on, a listening ear or a warm hug at just the right time. What a blessing to feel supported.
Who would have thought that a ride on a zip line would teach me so much, but life lessons are all around us if we just know where to look. This time for me it was on top of a mountain. Where will your next life lesson come from?
Until next time
Philippians 4:13 ~ I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Little Lesson Learned: Life is a journey, not a destination. We learn from all our experiences when we are willing to.
Copyright: littlelessonslearnedbydana, 2015