Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Retreat (as in quiet time away) (08/01/05)
TITLE: The Retreat Challenge
By lisa elg
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“That looks terrifying,” I replied as my heart raced on behalf of the stunt-woman-wannabe that filled the screen. A woman appeared behind the podium and announced that registration for the Zipline would be held in the morning. A stampede seemed unlikely. Finding myself among the thrill seekers was about as likely as a finding a cat in a swimming pool.
The next day I was strolled around and found myself standing in front of the Zipline sign-up booth. What happened next could only be explained by one of two theories: either I’d gone completely insane or God was having some fun. With complete ease, I signed my name in the 2 o’clock spot. Between bites of my lunch, I told Cindy about my afternoon plans. “Are you crazy?” Cindy exclaimed. I couldn’t answer her; the jury was still out on that.
Around 1:30 the two of us walked over to the Zipline. Cindy explained that she was coming for moral support, whether that meant cheering from the sidelines or riding in the ambulance, she was game. As we approached the Zipline I realized, with a wave of dizziness, that twenty feet above the ground was pretty high. I got in line and strapped on a helmet as I watched a woman climb the pole. I hadn’t thought about how I was supposed to get to the top of the pole and I began to pray ceaselessly.
I was so earnest in my prayer that I failed to realize that it was my turn until people began to wrap the harness around my body. I don’t remember grabbing the pole and scaling it one foot at a time. I do remember feeling a gentle push, like a soft breeze, from behind. I don’t recall what I said to the man on the platform as he removed one cable from my harness and replaced it with another. I do recall the beauty of the landscape from a bird’s eye view. The memory of jumping off the platform is hazy, but the image of two hands holding me as I zipped along the line is crystal clear.
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