Her jaw was stiff. She gazed hatefully at me.
After a few more practice zips, we arrived at the highest, scariest zip of the course—a 500-foot traverse of a giant gorge. Winds swept through the chasm. My mom gripped the tree even tighter.
“I can’t do this,” she said, removing her gloves.
“Yes, you can.”
“I want to get down.”
“You can’t get down here,” I lied.
“I’m not having fun.”
“Yes you are.”
She clenched her jaw tighter and reluctantly put her gloves back on.
My litmus test was tears. If she started to cry, I would call it off and leave the course with her. I watched her carefully as she waited. Trembling jaw, wide eyes, shaking hands, but no tears.
“Okay, Elaine you’re up,” the guide said. The other zip-liners in our group cheered her on. Group encouragement—also known as ‘peer pressure’—worked wonders, and mom inched her way to the edge of the platform. Our guide locked in her pulley and harness.
“Okay Elaine. You’re ready to fly. Just let go.”
Watch her leap of faith below:
Thanks to Nick, Luke, and John—guides at Navitat Canopy Tours—for helping my mom reach new heights.