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Conquering fears one zip line at a time

Spring break for the Pedersen family was pretty uneventful. We didn’t leave town or do anything especially fancy.

My kids spent the night with my grandmother one night and my sister another night.

I think they were content with getting away from their parents.

But we planned to do something special Friday before dying Easter eggs (and then the rain ruined Sunday) so they wouldn’t be too upset we didn’t go to the beach or mountains.

We stayed one block from my work.

Three of the four adults did the zip line across the Chattahoochee River. I was the one who volunteered to stay with the kids, mostly because I zipped when it opened.

The kids weren’t too happy they weren’t old enough or reached the weight minimum for the zip line, but it’s something they can look forward to later.

So there we were with four kids — ages 9, 8, 6 and 5 — getting strapped in and ready for the ropes course on the Alabama side of the river. They weren’t really prepared for what was ahead.

The kids and I bussed it across the bridge while the adults were getting ready to zip. Once we got to the ropes course, we waited for them.

They enjoyed traveling across the river that way.

But it was the ropes course where I learned my daughter and I have more in common than I knew.

She cried the second she was attached to the safety zip. It wasn’t because she was scared of heights — although we learned she is slightly afraid of that.

It was because she didn’t trust the cord that would hold her.

Me either, darling.

You see, in middle or high school when everyone was doing the “trust fall,” Stephanie wasn’t participating.


Not me.

My fear has zero to do with the safety of that course. It was superb. My fear has everything to do with what psychologists would probably label “major trust issues.”

I muscled my way through the ropes course without relying on the zip line at all. Because I, too, wasn’t prepared to trust it even though I completed it once before.

My daughter figured it out once she graduated to the harder course. She literally zipped across one obstacle and had fun doing it.

My son, niece and nephew enjoyed every second of the course. It was something fun to do in our own backyard. But I didn’t think my daughter would ever ask to return.

Until she did the next day. She’s stronger than her mama, that’s certain, already able to conquer fears I haven’t been able to contain.

They’re all now counting down the days and years until they can zip or participate in whitewater rafting.

Until that day we’ll continue to search for fun 1-2 hour activities we can tackle in our area.

Next up?

Maybe hiking or horseback riding.

Nah, baseball starts back this weekend.