Shared Experience – Different Mindset


Every spring Cindy plans a mystery adventure for her two sisters. We’ve had some fantastic experiences: Cirque du Soleil, seeing Lipizzaner stallions’ spring training, swimming with manatee, Blue Man Group, and an all-day pontoon trip. This year was a “canopy” bike ride. The “bikes” are suspended from a cable that is strung through the trees by “j” hooks. It’s a 3/4 mile loop, attaining a  height of 25′ above ground.

I was the first to get strapped in. While getting settled in for the ride, I heard three important bits of information.  1) Keep one “j” hook between you and the bike in front of you. If two bikes get on the same stretch of cable, it sags, making the front person have to pedal up-hill. 2) When you get up to the highest point, you will see some red lichen or mossy growth on the trees. This is very rare and only grows where “there’s pure oxygen.” (That’s what the guy said! But we know he meant that there is very little pollution, since air is only about 20% oxygen. I put that in for you, Judy!) And 3) If you need help, if you get stuck on a “j” hook, or just can’t finish, yell out and we can come and hoist you down.

Right from the get-go I determined that I was NOT going to call for help. No how, no matter what! This is a big, out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere place, and to call out loud enough to get help and to be hoisted down would be unacceptably embarrassing!

I also knew, as soon as I got started, that I did NOT want to have to pedal uphill (anymore than I already was). So, I worked very hard to keep plugging along so that the sister behind me would not have to wait for me to get to the next “j” hook. I didn’t want her to have to stop and wait while I made it to the next hook. I kept my eye on the next “j” hook and as soon as I got over that one, I was looking for the next (there were 48 of them!). I did get hung up once (I’m NOT going to call for help!), but was able to back up and muscle through!

At the edge of my physical prowess, at some breathless point, I remember repeating, “There IS air up here! The guy promised that there IS air!” I never saw the red stuff, but hung on the promise that there was “pure oxygen!” I also never saw the alligator in the pond!

It was a big relief to round the bend and see the platform to disembark – my eyes locked in on a bottle of water on the railing and it was for me! The helper offered to walk  to the pavilion with me to take off the harness, but I opted to wait for my sisters. I waited. And waited. And waited. They came rolling in about 10 – 15 minutes later!

Turns out they had made some pauses, with a “j” hook between them, to take pictures, to point out things. Neither of them would have minded waiting for me. I could have slowed down and LOOKED for the red stuff,  for the alligator, or just to rest!

The alligator I never saw. None of us saw the red stuff. All of us were thankful for "pure oxygen!"

We all did the same thing, shared the same experience; it’s hilarious to me that I had such a different frame of mind.

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