Friday, October 14, 2011

The zip line….aka the dumbest idea I have ever had

I’m not going to lie. I started writing my encounter of this experience a few weeks ago but my creative juices never really got flowing and I gave up.  Then I read Alexa’s damn good story so here I am, starting over, hoping to live up to what I and you have just read.

Let me start out by saying that yes, zip lining was indeed my idea.  The deal with the whole list was no matter what we said, it went on the list.  Luckily, I knew that Lex has done countless dumb things like scuba dive, throw herself out of a plane, and I think even bungee jump (at least I hope she’s done that, and not going to add it now that I have put the idea in her head).  So tipsy me, feeling all inspired to conquer the world and make positive changes, suggests zip lining. Honestly thinking it wouldn’t happen for a way long time.  Enter Living Social and its amazing deal that Lexa scoops up without a second thought.

She totally pegged us right on the nose.  Alexa is one of the most creative, inspiring, loving people I know.  A few years ago, I dubbed her my spirit guide and I pretty much can’t live without her in my life.  She brings out the “earthy” side of me, which is usually covered up by spray tans, make-up and way cuter clothes than hers.  You never know what she is up to, where she has run off to and 9 times out of 10, her phone is never charged.  I am the planner who would probably have my phone surgically attached to my body if they offered it....but some how we work. And I know that no matter what adventures we get ourselves into, I will always come out with some of my greatest memories.

So, the zip line.  The redeeming factor of this day was that I had planned on going to brew fest immediately following my potential brush with death.  New rule, always follow bad ideas with good ones like beer.  I drove us out to Noblesville and we somewhat stumbled our way from one barn to the next until I saw it...The worst idea I ever had.  To make matters worse, some small child was in charge of saddling us up and keeping us safe.  Poor kid, I gave him such a hard time he probably went home and wept.  But I can’t help that I use sarcasm as a cover of my nerves and the boy got caught in the crossfire.

The next 15 min or so are I have blocked from my memory so I am going to take Alexa’s word for it. Somehow we were on a platform. She went, I went. It was over.  And over fast. I do recall a sense of freedom and accomplishment during, but I’m pretty sure I spent that minute cursing myself for allowing it to happen.  I finished, slid down a huge slide to my safety and continued to watch Alexa flirt with little man, which was the highlight of the whole trip.  The kid adored her and I’m pretty sure she got his card.  It’s cool Lex, puma’s are totally in right now.

I will say it was a great way to start off the list.  I semi got over my fear of heights. But don’t go thinking I’m going to jump off something or out of something.  Whatever happens next, you know it’s going to be epic.

The Zipline...Conquering Anne’s Fear of Heights

             I will admit our ‘Need a new name for a bucket list, bucket list’ was born under the influence of a few cocktails, but more so in the midst of great laughs. It’s amongst positive thinking and good vibes that great ideas happen. Quite frankly,  there are very few moments less than brilliant when Anne and I set out on an adventure. Lately, you can find us taking in new music around Indianapolis, which has made for an amazing concert season. However, we hit the point of sheer monotony stuck in automatic pilot mode and being just beyond our 20s, we realized there was certainly more to life than normal routine. Now, my ‘more to life’ usually involves a new art project, a weekend away camping in the middle of nowhere, hiking any trail I can find, sitting in a park barefoot, or road-tripping anywhere just to be on the road. I write, paint, photograph, am intrigued by all walks of life and celebrate their inner beauty and outer uniqueness. My my dear friend and partner in crime, Anne, is certainly a beautiful soul, yet one who celebrates life in a different manner. She keeps me aware of outer beauty, make-up, hair and the importance of being fashionably feminine. She’ll never fail to mention when I’m the victim of a fashion faux pas or when my hair cut is outdated and Anne will always offer (dare I say, insist) to do my make-up. We are two of the most mismatched friends ever but just maybe that’s why we work so well.  Now, that does not mean I have hairy armpits and dreads, although good for those who can rock that look, and I only have hints of artsy, tomboy, hippie tendencies, but I will admit that spray tanning and waxing is just foreign in my world. 
             I guess what I’m trying to introduce here is the idea that our ‘not a bucket list, bucket list’ is the celebration of differences and stepping outside of our comfort zones and we began our journey on a Zip Line. Now, after knowing Anne for almost a decade I never realized her fear of heights. Strapping on a harness just isn’t something she’s ever desired to accomplish yet I’m pretty sure the Zip Line was her idea. Congratulations to her for admitting to a fear she wanted to conquer!
We arrive at Stoneycreek Farm in Noblesville, Indiana early one Saturday afternoon. For the entire 30 minute trip I was giddy from the sheer excitement of checking out a new place, especially one that included the word ‘Farm’ in it’s title and of course to try out some zip lining. I look over at Anne whose face was quickly turning from lively smiles to pursed lips, a bit of a ghost white hue was also emerging.  We started with a wander around the expansive farmland and were greeted by roosters who roamed the acres, which was pretty cool, although a little unnerving. At that moment I realized an irrational (maybe rational) fear of being attacked by free roaming roosters. We found our way to the welcome barn, which was located just past the mini tractor train ride and purchased our tickets. Thanks to Living Social’s daily deal, we were able to buy one-get-one free! We had to find our way to yet another barn where the Zip Line guy awaited our arrival. I’m pretty sure he was twelve years old (okay maybe 21) and in love with blonde hair, blue eyed Anne. I only say this because he gladly helped her tighten the harness straps in somewhat inappropriate locations, while he just nodded in the direction to mine was located.

            I realized as we are getting our helmets, harnesses, and gloves on that Anne becomes even more sarcastic than normal when she’s facing nerves, which I find hysterical. Her sass with the harness kid made for perfect entertainment. We got geared up and quickly swept away by a zip line chick who provided a quick tutorial which went something like this: “try to stay straight and keep your legs up when you get close to the landing platform”. That was pretty much all she had to say and then sent us on our way up the 50 foot suspension bridge which had slated boards and a lot more give than I had expected. We practically crawled board by board, laughing a bit nervously, to the top of the tower. At that point looking down meant the earth was about 40 feet below, and Anne’s big blue eyes were wider than I’d ever seen.

I was elected to go first, probably because she wasn’t quite certain I’d live to tell our story. I climbed up onto the launch box and received the count down, 3-2-1...and instantly, I was flying through the air giggling like my two year old niece after masses amounts of sugar. For about a solid 20 seconds I felt completely free, alive and totally secure. The landing platform quickly approached and I was definitely backwards, I had failed one of only two rules I was given in our zipline “training”. I pulled my legs up as high as I could, to avoid massive shin impact with the tower ahead and a bearded boy, who might have been older than harness man, meaning 13 (ok or maybe 23), pulled me to safety. I networked, aka flirted,  like a puma (I’m not nearly old enough to be a cougar) as we discussed other adventures we enjoy like skydiving and scuba diving. I’m pretty sure at that moment I forgot I was supposed to be a supportive voice for Anne who was shaking on the launch box.  It was her laugh that made me refocus on my friend and which spoke volumes of accomplishment for overcoming fear. Her smile was that of a genuine child, she stayed relatively straight and remembered to pull those legs up on landing. All in all it was a successful Zipline. Bearded boy also pulled Anne into safety and she called me out, for flirting. She’s known me too long not to be able to instantly recognize a man who fits my style, a boy who worked on a farm, at a zip line and who sported a beard, yes please! We descend the landing tower through a tube slide and that childlike feeling overwhelmed me again. I’m certain this feeling should be felt by every person over the age of 25, I think that’s when people start to fall into automatic adult mode. Random events, trips, outings which give the opportunity to step outside of your routine and into the unknown is what adventure is all about... its what will keep us all youthful and remind us of what life really should be about.

We kicked around the idea of another go, but realized real life awaited. The roosters followed us to the car and with each step our strides quickened, just to make sure we didn’t become victims of the vicious poultry. We climbed in the car and immediately started plotting our next item on the “need a new name for bucket list, bucket list.”

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

once upon a blog...

here's the deal.  we are bored, we need adventure, we need excitement, we need a plan.  this all started while we were waiting for mr. john cougar mellencamp to come on stage and wow us with his awesomeness.  there are so many amazing, fun, random things out there in the world to do and darn it, we want to do them and we want people to know about it.  thus, the birth of alexa and anne's "we need another name for bucket list" list!  (obviously there were some issues with coming up with a name.  suggestions welcome.)  

through out the concert we began mapping out our list.  even if it was ridiculous and in a joking matter, it made the cut.  that's the deal. if we say we want to do it, it goes on the list.  and here is the first draft in all of its' glory:

Drive across the country for a really great show
Nudist colony for a day
Yogi weekend
Learn an instrument
Scuba diving
Visit the biggest ball of yarn
Visit the first African southern babtist church (in savannah?)
Mardi gras/blues jazz fest
Meditate in the smokies
Take a pole dancing class
Visit a small town that we didn’t know existed (dart on map)- become a local
Learn to surf
Zip line
Be on a tv/movie/commercial set
Cook a full Thanksgiving dinner

still a work in progress and we invite you all to follow us on our journey.  we don't know where this will take us in our lives and how or if we will be able to impact others, but we're going for it.  regardless, it's going to make for a great story....