As you may have guessed from out Cheapskate posts, we here at the CuT tend to be frugal. We love Groupons and we do a lot of stuff we might not otherwise do if it weren’t for those discounts in our inboxes. This week, Groupon brought the Prissy Bitch and I to The Adventure Park at Bridgeport’s Discovery Museum. Originally, when I first forwarded the Groupon to her, we speculated you might zipline over some santeria ritual sites and through an abandoned, asbestos-filled factory. Turns out were were wrong in more ways that one.
First of all, we were stupid to think we’d just be ziplining. A few years back I went ziplining with my cousin and brother in Middletown. Once or twice there were some obstacles — bridges or whatnot — between platforms. You made a reservation and had a set of guides that helped you from where you launched and helped you where you landed. This weekend’s experience was nothing like that.
In the woods behind the Discovery Museum is the Adventure Park. You sign a waiver, they give you a harness, and a couple of quick tutorials on how to use the hooks that keep you from plummeting to your death. Then they send you off. There’s a platform in a clearing where all the courses start. Like ski runs they have color designations, from little yellow circles up to double black diamonds.
We were chatting with the one of the dudes that stands on the platform directing idiots like use, and he suggested we start with a yellow. To this, Prissy Bitch replied, “The yellow look lame.” He laughed, complimented her sweet Chuck Taylors, and then said we could probably try a green.
We were not prepared for this. If it wasn’t for the 12-year-old girls behind us, I’d probably still be stuck in a tree (thanks to a hook that kept sticking). So I’d like to give a quick shout out to Erica and Roxy, who may have saved my life.
Oh, and here’s a little something I forgot to mention: I’m not a big fan of heights. Prissy Bitch has witnessed some of my worst moments. When we were in Yosemite, driving through narrow mountain roads, she noticed I was kind of white-knuckling it as I drove. She offered to take over but I told her it’s actually better if I can be in control since what I really fear is careening off the side when some a-hole runs us off the road. When we got out to enjoy a vista and some completely insane couple allowed their dog to jump up on a wall on the edge of a cliff, I thought I might faint. I had to walk away.
So it’s no surprise that Prissy Bitch wondered why I was even interested in this particular outing. But when I was 19 I threw myself out of a plane. When I was even younger and stupider, I jumped off a cliff or two into the water. And my knees may have been weak, and my stomach may have been turning, but I stood at the edge of the Grand Canyon and I looked down. In other words, I refuse to let my dislike of heights hold me back, and I’ve learned that if I just power through and do what scares me, I get desensitized. I’m like my own therapist.
But those first few “elements” on the green course were not fun. There was an especially terrible “element” involving a trapeze where you just have to hold on and glide across. My upper-arm strength is not what it used to be. And the work gloves they give you to keep from burning the shit out of your hands on the cable, don’t grip trapeze very well. I took them off and stuffed them down my shirt.
As it turns out, ziplining tends to be the easiest part of the course. (We ended up doing an easy course later in the day and it had way more ziplines than the harder course.) The hardest part of the “elements” is the instability. Even the ones that don’t look bad turned into a nightmare — and some of the ones that looked horrifying turned out to be not so bad, like a series of rings you have to climb through that look bad but turned out to be stable and therefore much easier some of the others.
Like this one:
This one doesn’t look so bad, right ? Probably because I make it look easy. But when you first step on it, man does it move. The balancing wire is awful high up and I had trouble finding my balance and thought, more than once, that I was going to fall off and our 12-year-old friends were going to get annoyed that I was holding up the line.
But we made it through without too many problems, which wasn’t the case for everyone. A couple of little girls ahead of us were too light and didn’t make it to the platform when ziplining and had to be rescued. At one point the Prissy Bitch slowed herself down too much and also stalled short of the platform but she just pulled herself in. When we were strolling the paths on the ground to check out some of the other courses we saw one kid who was stuck way up high on a platform, afraid of what appeared to be a Tweety Bird perch that carried him over to the next platform.
What do you do when you get stuck somewhere? Just scream “Staff!” until someone in an orange shirt shows up. Sometimes the response time is admirable, other times… not so much. So just try not to suck and power through.
In the words of Nike, “Just do it!”