Travel Adventures, Cincinnati Attractions & Writing
Tim climbed and crossed so quickly that I missed it. Johnny grabbed the Tarzan swing, bounced off the cargo net, and made it to the landing with ease. I glanced at Ricky’s crossing, but didn’t dare keep looking. I had work to do. I twisted on the first rungs of the rope ladder. My arms strained. Pulling, pulling, I did my best to keep my feet moving up the swaying rungs, but I already felt exhausted, and had so much higher to go.
Beth shouted encouraging words. She was above me. She checked Ricky’s carbines, took care of her own, and gracefully mastered the obstacles herself after giving guidance to her little brother. I tried to catch my breath as I heaved myself onto the first platform, and wondered, perhaps out loud, what the heck I was doing. An out-of-shape, old mom should not attempt an obstacle course called “Go Ape.” Apes are agile and strong. I am feeble and chubby.
I should have looked at the brochure. Studied the website. Read the waiver. But no. I saw “ziplining” and thought, “Hey, I’ve done that before.” (See link: http://www.barbaradavid.com/Cincinnati/ozone.html) Not with success or mastery; I’d crashed at the end of every zip, but I’d survived and had fun.
I was not having fun at Go Ape. Tim and Johnny were out of sight. I hoped they were safe. I’d left Beth in charge of Ricky’s life, high above the trees, securing him to leap off a platform into the sky, and I was about to jump. I clung to the Tarzan rope. On the ground, during training, that had sounded like fun: Tarzan rope. Tarzan, Cheetah, Jane. I could be like Jane!
But now I knew I was not like Jane. Not at all.
I stared across at the platform and then down at the ground. I was supposed to swing, bounce off the rope net once, land on it again, grab hold, and then climb up to the platform. Except I’d had trouble on the ladder, and the net looked even less forgiving of an overweight, middle-aged woman, with weak arms.
And there were people behind me. Lots of them, waiting their turns. I called down to the guide. “What if I can’t do it?”
“You can do it.”
“No. What if I can’t?”
To be continued . . . with video at https://barbaradavidwrites.com/2012/08/02/go-ape-my-triumphant-finish/