Thursday, November 10, 2011


Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.--Helen Keller

Daring, indeed...for who would try to fly hill to hill with harness on your back instead of wings? It may be just a minute or less, but hey, it's gotta be the scariest minute of your lifetime.   

I'm ranting about the zipline experience I had in November, 2010 during the tour to Lake Sebu of the Faculty Union Congress  delegates.  Yeah, that was just late last year.  I never thought I would. What's an acrophobic like me doing up there in that platform getting harnessed and all and released without warning to the loooooooooooooooooooong cable like a superhero flying in the air? 

I refused to think.  I just went with the flow, with the prodding of my colleagues.  I had to tell myself, back out and this is gonna be your lifetime's one minute of shame.  How can I look them in  the eye ever again had I chickened out?  I'd hate myself  forever for being so jaundice.  So, okay...let the moment come.  It's only a minute, after all.  One minute of fame?  One minute of SCRREeeeEEAAAaaaAMMMmmm!!! 

So I chose to go first, so that everybody's eyes are on that I wouldn't have the guts to back out.  Mayong wanted to go first because he had to attend to other delegates, so okay, I'd go with him. 

First in line, after the photographer went ahead 
as advance party
Masking apprehension with smiles.
On the platform, I felt like I was being prepped for the guillotine.  My legs were going queasy.  I was getting cold and scared, onset to hypertensive attack.  
I put on  a smile, gave a nervous laugh, practiced my screaming pitch... should I go alto, soprano, or bajo?   
As it turned out, I went suuper-duuper shrill and high... and...oh, there's just no name for it.  Mayong said later, earwax-shattering! 

I barely took in the beauty of nature spread before me as I zipped through the air.  I did look, but not long enough to really take in details.  I was busy getting scared.  Mayong tried so hard to divert my attention from screaming, but  to no avail.  I did look when he said look, but I was still screaming.

How high was high?  Lake Sebu's zipline is said to be the highest in the country.  Oh, God be with me, Mayong was not enough to give me courage.  But his presence was more than I needed to keep my wits intact while we traversed the line from point A to point B.  He didn't know, maybe, but I was praying as I was screaming.  I didn't know multi-tasking could ever be possible under  such circumstances when you'd rather have your mind go blank and your feelings numb just so you won't feel so terrified/petrifed/horrified and all the other -fied the great Thesaurus could ever provide.  And, oh, mind you, point B was more horrifying than point A. Read my lips: MORE...than.

Well, Mayong was Clark Kent and I was Lois Lane, judging from the picture taken of us as we were nearing the other side. I was screaming still even when we've  reached the end (it wasn't a peaceful ending, you'd better believe me!)...and we weren't zipping anymore but were just hanging there cooling down. Well, TRYING to cool down.   Tsk, tsk, the breaks just won't bite; I kept screeeeeeeching like mad.  

Okay, so there was a second cable to ride going back, and it's the same old story...only shorter. You really have no choice, if you wanna go back.  Take it, or roll down the slopes to get down to the falls and climb 700 steps up back to your other colleagues who said no to zipline.  

When we reached the finish line, been unharnessed and were back on our feet, I felt my knees wobble like tectonic earthquake, and I felt faint.  Probably Mayong was, too. With jelly legs we hobbled on to the little shops a few meters away from the landing, and sought for water. Aaah, ice cold!  Good enough to soothe our windblown nerves. After rehydrating we went back to the landing area to welcome the zipliners who dared after us.  The good thing about this experience is you feel like embracing every stranger who had been there, done that.  You all feel so fraternal all of a sudden. 

It takes a long time to get over the euphoria you feel after this experience.  I felt like I deserved a pat in the back from everybody for having been so brave.  I felt like, okay, I could do it better the next time around. I won't be as much afraid as I had been the first time. But...I really dunno.  Let time be the judge of that.  All I can say is, at one point in my life, I have dared to do something unthinkable, and I feel so proud of myself. OwSowprawdd.. No more what-ifs.  Veni, vidi, vi-zipped!!!!

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