Bucket List #2 -- Playing in the Trees
Updated: Dec 10, 2021
When I was a young girl, I was very athletic and a slight tom boy. I used to love climbing trees and swinging from the end of our metal clothes line post. We used to have this big Magnolia tree in our backyard growing up and I would climb high into the tree and sit, overlooking our neighborhood, enjoying the view.
Bucket list items are usually experiences that push yourself, take you out of you comfort zone and add excitement to your life.
While I didn't get to check off many items this summer, as I wanted, I did get to spend an afternoon in the trees going through an Adventure Course with ninja obstacles and zip lines. I hadn't zip lined before so this experience combined two physical elements that tested my abilities.
FLGX in Brooksville, has Florida's best elevated adventure course that includes suspended bridges, swings, slides, nets, ropes and zip lines between 15 to 80 feet above the ground.
I originally wanted to do this with my teenage son as a bonding afternoon, but as I was getting ready to leave he decided it would be lame and didn't want to go. After I finished the first course I realized it was better that he decided not to come because he would have moaned the whole time.
When I first arrived, they checked me in and suggested I purchase a water bottle that attached to my harness, and fingerless gloves to wear on the course. The gloves, I learned, were a necessity, and there were water bottle stations to replenish my bottle to keep me hydrated along the way.
After being fitting into my harness, a group of us went to a training session to learn how to securely clip into the safety cable that kept me tethered as I accessed aerial obstacles and challenging segments that got progressively harder.
Most people were there in pairs; friends, a dad and son, and a married couple. As we all walked over to start the course I fell in line behind the married couple and watched their dynamics play out as the course tested our abilities. The woman was much more adventurous and willing to jump into each activity, while the man was slightly overweight, out of shape and cautious, which truly slowed down my progress.
When we arrived at the end of the Green course, he was not feeling well and wanted to stop. I was happy to move around them and see how I could do without them slowing me down. I asked one of the instructors about the next Blue course and he said it should take me twice as long and is four times as hard. Looking down at my watch I realized that I spent about 90 minutes on that first course and was wondering if it would really take me over two hours to complete.
He pointed me in the direction of the starting point, which began with climbing a rock wall giving me a sense of how challenging this course may be. Not having anyone in front of me I was able to tackle each activity strategically and test my abilities to maneuver, balance and stretch physical limits without limitations, while swiftly moving through the first sections.
However, each activity that I finished, brought me to a tougher one, until I finally caught up with the father and son in our group. Luckily there was an instructor standing on a platform providing tips on how to best handle this section that had logs suspended high in the air lengthwise by cargo ropes. Being only 5'4" my reach is not that long, so I had to balance on the end of the log while holding onto one of the ropes, then shimming my feet along the log, until I could reach out to grab the rope at the other end, without losing my balance.
It was a combination of mental and physical toughness, to overcome the fear of falling, even though I was tethered by a safety line above, and physically balancing on that log while over stretching to capture the other rope.
This is a great activity for couples to test their relationship. I decided, when I get back into a serious relationship, we are doing this adventure course to see how he adapts to the challenges, test his athletic ability, see how patient or impatient he can be, and is he willing to help and communicate with me as a teammate through the obstacles.
When I finished, I felt proud of myself that I accomplished it without falling or losing my balance, and I did it in 90 minutes. Being physically tired after 3 hours in the trees felt the same as when I finished a half marathon.
The father and son pair finished right before me and decided they wanted to continue on to the Red course. There was also a final Black course, but I couldn't imagine how hard those two could be and didn't want to find out.
The afternoon was spent utilizing a different part of my brain and muscles I didn't normally use. I felt empowered and happily tired, that I was able to check another item off my bucket list!
6440 Cedar Lane
Brooksville, FL 34601