Jacq of all Trades, Master of Writing
Published March 30th 2013
Become a legend - conquer the Green Challenge at Currumbin
We are all legends (in our own minds) as we sit watching our favourite action movie where the hero and heroine whizz through the treetops on a flying fox at neck break speed. We think to ourselves how much fun that would be, or how we could do that easily. Piece of cake, right? Well, why don't you give it a try and see how much of a legend you really are?
Small Flying Fox
I challenge you to attempt the Green Challenge at Adventure Parc located at the Currumbin Bird Wildlife Sanctuary. It is the most physically and mentally challenging thing I've done in a long time!
The challenge is constructed high into the treetops of beautiful Eucalyptus trees in a rainforest setting. You'll be harnessed and given instructions on how to clip yourself onto the equipment. Children must reach 160cm from heels to middle of both outstretched hands, and 180cm for the advanced challenge.
So, off I go, climbing up into the treetops, bouncing on wire tightropes, wobbly bridges, and flying foxes, and then… I came unstuck on the Tarzan swing. As much as I thought of myself as adventurous and brave, this exercise made me realise that I had fears that were holding me back. The young safety officer below tried to coach me on how to get across yet my fear was paralysing. I couldn't jump. I didn't trust my tired, aching arms to hold me. The height didn't help. I was whining and carrying on like a five year old when I noticed that I had attracted a crowd of spectators that found my fear amusing. Now, there was the pressure of people watching me! My daughter was patiently waiting her turn. Her encouraging words turned into frustration as the minutes ticked on. I kept getting myself ready and then I'd back off, until… the mighty Tarzan yell was heard. Mine of course was a very high pitched version and helped to release the pent up tension of the whole event.
Little did I know that the challenges ahead were getting harder. The netted ropes looked easy until I was a quarter of the way across and my arms were burning with fatigue. I thought there was no way I was going to make it all the way. My screams of, 'get me off! I can't do this anymore!' went unheard. I hooked my arms and legs through the net and decided I was just going to hang there and get the safety officer to get me down somehow. I heard my children cheering me on, telling me I could do it. I screamed over to the boys, 'Get over here and help me!' When I realised that they were in hysterics and had no intention of coming to my rescue, I pulled myself together and inched my way painfully and slowly to the other side with much muttering under my breath.
After pulling myself through barrels, and the embarrassment of my butt oozing out between the connecting barrel – I'm sure that would have made an interesting photograph – I came across the ultimate 'You've got to be kidding me' challenge. I stared in disbelief at the loose swinging logs suspended with wire that I was suppose to step on to get to the other side. It didn't help that I had to look down to see where to step. The dizzying height made my heart pound and it took me about five minutes of psyching myself up to finally take the first step. No matter how hard I tried to stretch out my leg, the logs were too far apart so I had to secure myself as best I could to the wobbly wires on either side of me and make a leap toward the log. After a wobbly landing, I realised with complete dread that now that I'd taken that first step, there was no turning back and there were at least another twenty steps ahead!
Giant Flying Fox
When I finally finished the beginner and intermediate course (no way was I attempting the extreme challenge) I felt quite proud of myself and actually went back for two more rounds. Three and a half hours later I could barely walk, but I have to say, I felt like a legend. I thought about the experience and how similar it is to our life experience. We can be faced with challenges that paralyse us with fear and make us procrastinate to avoid the pain we perceive ahead. We can choose to give up and stay in our comfort zone, or in some cases uncomfortable zone, and retreat rather than face the fear, or we can take a leap, make a change and realise it wasn't as bad as we had feared after all. We can run ourselves to the ground until we are too exhausted to continue and then choose to throw in the towel, or we can rest a little while and persevere until we make it through. We can try to convince ourselves that something's too hard and we can't do it and find ways to retreat and give up, or we can feel the fear but do it anyway knowing that we will come out the other side a much stronger person and proud of our achievements. We fail when we stop trying!
I challenge you to give Adventure Parc a go. Are you going to be a spectator in life, or are you going to live it to the full?