Facing Our Fears: Life Lessons Learned on the Zip Line
It's a very common thing for folks to come zip lining at Gunstock for the purpose of facing their fear; whether it be a fear of heights, a fear of heights at high speeds, the sheer vulnerability, etc. It's always a rewarding experience for our zip guides to help somebody get over their fear, and the progression from "I can't do this," to "I can't wait to do that again" is a big part of why our guides do what they do. Having seen it firsthand, I've been reflecting on some lessons we can all learn from zip lining:
1- Bring your friends with you.
Not the friends who will make fun of you if you fear-cry a little bit, the ones who will calm you down and encourage you. Good company is a staple in facing life, not just facing our fears, and a reliable support system is essential.
2- Be prepared.
Bring a rain jacket just in case. Bring an extra pair of shoes too --even though they'll probably stay in the car, at least you'll have them if you need them. Bring sunglasses, sunblock, a phone, etc. If you eliminate those micro-worries of "I hope it doesn't rain, I don't have anything with me," or "What if a big bug flies right smack into my eye," your overall anxiety factor will be smaller. This also applies to life --the more prepared you are for whatever comes your way, the more you can focus on the present and worry less.
3- Attitude is EVERYTHING.
It really is. Motivational cat posters aside, if you decide you're going to face your fear and have a blast doing it, chances are, you totally will. If you decide that a couple of snags in your morning routine will ruin your day, they will derail you. Don't let that happen: choose to be stoked about what you're about to accomplish and choose to go have an adventure! When those gates open at the top of our highest zip line, it's easy to psyche yourself out and think, "I'm so scared right now, I can't do this," but, if you tell yourself, "It's not so bad, I've got this," you'll be surprised at how true that immediately becomes as you zip down, and how big your smile becomes as you grow more confident.
4- Be sure to take a moment and appreciate your surroundings.
This one is a pretty obvious one, but it can be easy to get so caught up in what you're doing in the daily grind that you forget to look around and notice the beauty in everyday life. On our zip line, you really don't have a choice. Even in the face of fear, the view of Lake Winnipesaukee and the surrounding mountain ranges will make you gasp. Nature is calming, so is gratitude. The world is a beautiful place, and it's important to remember that.
5- Fears were made to be conquered.
Once you face your fear and overcome it, you realize that you can apply your newfound bravery to pretty much any other fear you may have, and 99.9% of the time, doing this will make you a better person. Watching a guest who was frozen with fear only minutes ago arriving at the bottom of the zip line cry-laughing is the best, and seeing them jump around with pride knowing that they not only just crushed an intimidating goal, but had a blast doing it, is even better.
Congratulations to all who have faced their fears here on the zip line, and to those doing it every day in life. Onward and upward!