I have been going to the Arizona State Fair for as long as I’ve lived here, 36 years. I took my kids to the fair every year, went with them on school trips, band trips, dance trips. I’ve seen every inch of those grounds, especially the bathrooms. But this year, they had something new, something I’ve wanted to do. I wanted to do it when we were in Utah but the snow prevailed. I wanted to do it when we were in the Poconos, but time passed too quickly.
So here it is, in my own back yard, a ZIP LINE!! I’ve always loved swinging, (keep your minds out of the gutter), that feeling of being in the air, close to the sky, free as a bird, so zip lining would be the ultimate swinging adventure.
As Joshua and I walked up to the table with those ominous warnings and releases to be signed, I started to have second thoughts. The waiver said I could die and be maimed for life and all of that gory stuff and there wasn’t anything I could do about it, whew! The sign said if you have back or neck problems or are pregnant, you should not do this. I know I’m not pregnant, (that’s my darling Jen). But the rest, well, I have every ache and pain known in this old body and it can be aggravated by walking to the bathroom, so I might as well have some fun if I’m going to ache. Joshua encouraged me and told me to not back out now. (Did he just take out a life insurance policy??)
There were two young men in front of me, late 20’s, and I watched as the attendant strapped them in and they started to climb the stairs, those stairs that you have to climb without help and they go way hiiiiiigh into the air. I can do this, I’ll take my time, there’s no one behind me.
The young attendant had me step into the gear and hoisted the straps around me. We joked and he said he’s had all ages do this and he’s done it several times and it’s a blast. He handed me the rest of the strappings and I was on my way.
As I started my ascent, I waved to my darling and held on to the cold, steely rails and took it one step at a time. After the first two flights, I needed a breather and stopped and looked out at the lights and rides covering the fairgrounds. Couples pushing strollers, kids running in costumes, everyone oblivious to my undertaking. When I reached the top, the two men were strapped in and ready for takeoff. You have to jump off by yourself; no ride that starts up, no one giving you a push or boost, it’s all you, jump into the abyss, take a flying leap. One of the young men was hesitant but after looking back at me, he thought if this old broad is going to do this, so can I.
So here I was, at the top of the world. Hello Phoenix, you bright star, I’m ready for my fly through your air. “Just jump”, the attendant said, “or some people sit down, you can do that if you want.” No sitting down for me, young man, I’ve been waiting a long time for this and I’m ready to fly. And I did, jumping into the atmosphere, feeling nothing but freedom, waving my arms at everyone below, hooting, whooping and incessant laughing. I am here, flying, look at me, I’m a bird, I am free! My body is weightless, nothing hurts, nothing aches, I was meant to fly!
And then it was over, the landing was smooth and the euphoria filled my senses as the straps were undone and the attendant said, “You really enjoyed that, didn’t you?” You betcha, maybe next time I’ll jump from an airplane!
BTW, the next day my body felt great, everything had been stretched out to the max, maybe they should use this as physical therapy. They tell you to try and look at the landing as they are taking pictures of you for sale below, but I was looking everywhere else, relishing this flightful adventure. But Joshua got a few at the beginning and end.