Feeling the Fear & Doing It Anyway

A Zip Line Adventure in Guatemala

When was the last time you were really scared to do something but you did it anyway? Has it been awhile? Well, let me tell you about my recent adventure…

You’ve heard the phrase “trip of a lifetime” — this summer my family had it with the opportunity for my husband and me to take our three children back to Guatemala to visit their birth country for the first time since we adopted them in 2000, 2002 and 2004. To say it was eventful is an understatement. I’ll share more later but for this article, I wanted to share about the experience my kids say was their favorite part – “THE ZIP LINE!!!”

Zip line in GuatemalaFirst let me set the scene — the trip was with eight families who all have the common bond of adopted children from this beautiful Central American country.

The Zip Line is in the Lake Atitlan Reserve and includes a 75 foot waterfall, forest, butterfly preserve, canyons, coffee grove and overlooks Lake Atitlan- in a word, “stunning!” As our tour bus pulled up, everyone piled off and headed straight to the prep area to get their equipment. Every single parent and child was going to do the Zip Line except one person. Talk about peer pressure!

My way out? I would do it but in tandem with a trained guide (basically strapped together). That won’t be so scary! As we made the climb higher and higher, we passed across suspension bridges with ropes and wood planks (with some planks missing). My heart started pounding a little harder over each bridge. One mom was really struggling with the altitude and having a hard time so I gave her my water bottle to help keep her hydrated. Again, I thought “am I REALLY going to do this?!? Look at that poor lady! And I’m not even a fan of heights.

This zip line is eight separate cables that help you make your way down the canyon. The longest cable is 1000 feet long and you are about 300+ feet above the ground. Your only equipment is a safety hat, harness and thick gloves to grab the rope to stop yourself (so you don’t crash into the trees, other people or the side of the mountain!) Again, I thought, “Am I really going to do THIS?!?

Yep - That's me!

Yep – That’s me!

Then when I got to the top, I see that people have started. Now my heart is really pounding and I’m thinking I will just not go and walk back down. Then my youngest child hollers to me, “Mom, can I PLEASE go by myself? Please? Please?” My husband had already gone over the first cable so I had no one to consult or hand off the decision too. Our guide saw my face frozen in fear and said he felt very comfortable that she would be just fine going alone. Heck, I knew him only for two days but OK, he said she’d be fine so I guess I’ll trust him.

So in my mind, I thought, “if my 9 year old can do it and the lady with altitude sickness, then why not me!So I stepped up, the guide clipped me on the cable and let me go…

There are not words to describe the exhilaration, thrill, freedom and pure joy of gliding across those cables, seeing this beautiful country that blessed me with three amazing children, and feeling….. FEARLESS!

What a gift I received because…

Feeling the fear and doing it anyway, actually took away the fear!

So how has that affected my life since then? It is a constant reminder that if I could do that in a foreign country with my heart pounding, hands sweating, and feeling a fear like I’ve never felt before, then what else am I capable of doing?

So let me ask you – what is something that scares you? Think about it and think about what is possible if you are able to face the fear and actually do it! I can assure you that it will not only help you in that moment but that feeling of being a conqueror will serve you well in every area of your life.

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