… And Almost Died
Author’s note: Okay, before I dive into this story, you might think that I am over-exaggerating. But take my word for it. I’m not! This all happened. It’s all true. I’m NOT making any of this up!
Looking back at this story, I am almost entirely certain that I could have died. Usually, things that are on the lines for “we’re going to put you in a harness, and push you down a declining rope that will bring you to the ground” has a few safety precautions taken out. But no, not this time.
It was the summer of 2012. My family and I were on our annual summer vacation, and we somehow persuaded our parents to let us go somewhere that didn’t involve Colonial America or Civil War reenactments. We actually convinced our parents to take us on a cruise to Mexico, Belize, and Honduras. We had a lot of fun adventures on this trip. We went snorkeling in Cozumel, ATV Riding in Belize, and of course zip lining in Honduras- a.k.a. one of the sketchiest things I have probably done in my life.
I don’t know what possessed my parents to let me and my brother go zip lining, without any safety precautions and especially without questioning why we were the only tourist within what seemed to be a twenty-mile radius. I think they were just tired of dealing with us and needed a good two-hour break.
The zip line consisted of about twenty sections starting from on the top of a forest all the way back to where we started. We would land on platforms that were suspended in the trees.No matter how sketchy it was, it was definitely one of the coolest things our parents let us do when we were kids.
My first clue of immediate danger was the fact that the guide didn’t give us helmets. Two kids, one being fifteen, and the other being twelve! No helmets and the harnesses were pretty much torn to shreds.
The second clue was the landing pad for each of the twenty zip lines we went to. Long story short, each landing pad was an old mattress place on a wooden base, suspended into a tree. It was pretty much the last thing you would trust to support you when your suspended thirty feet, going 20 miles an hour.
Another clue was the fact that the only two way you were able to stop at the end of each line was to either time yourself perfect enough to land on both your feet in order to break yourself, or to haul ass into a decades-old, musty mattress that- again- was suspended thirty feet into a tree!
I look back at this story and thing two things. One, it was such an awesome, once in a lifetime experience, that makes for a really good story. And two, I really didn’t make smart choices as a fifteen-year-old, and I’m actually shocked that I have lived as long as I have.
When you go zip lining for the first time, make sure you do better homework than I did. Make sure that your landing pad isn’t an old mattress, and make sure you they give you a helmet. But either way, you’re still going to have an awesome time!
I could have died on a zip line in Honduras, but at least we got to play with monkey’s right after.
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