Sunday, August 15, 2010

Zipping down the Zipline!

Aha!  Another milestone!  I broke out of my big girl bondage to take the Flightline at Wild Animal Park.   My Breast Cancer 3 Day team decided to take the trip together.  Gloria, Loree and I spent the morning at the Breast Cancer 3-Day Expo (which was amazing since we met and recruited our fourth team member!) and then hustled to Escondido for our adventure.  It was a fantastic trip...well worth the several, although subtle, reminders of my big girl status. The Flightline experience begins weighed.  There are strict stipulations regarding weight.  You must weight between 75 and 250 pounds.  I assume that the decision to actually weigh everyone came from the frightening thought of arguing with a large woman who swears that she is under 250 but is most obviously in the 300 pound range.  Would you want to take that on? either.  As a fat girl, I can tell you.....we get very cranky when our weight comes up. 

So...on the scale I go.  Its a huge metal square actually in the ground.  I looked around for a neon light above me bellowing my weight to everyone around.  The attendant was good...he didn't even blink an eye.  He just stamped my hand and handed me some forms.  Yeah!  I passed the first test!  As I was walking to the next check point, I glanced at my forms.  What is  Oh....that looks oddly familiar....and wow....that'!  I quickly turned it over and handed it to the next attendant.  No such luck.  He flipped it right back and reached behind him for a harness.  A big one. the grand scheme of least there was one that fit!

We got a quick class on putting the harness on.  Ties, buckles, clips everywhere.  This is good, since they would be responsible for keeping us safe 60 feet above the ground.  We also learned the difference between the flight position (arms bent and pulling the straps to the shoulders) and the landing position (arms straight and laying back into the sling).  After the harness is on, we walked up a ramp to the Fledgling run.  It is small and only about six feet off the ground.  The attendant, who I must comment weights about 90 pounds, sizes us up.  She picks four of us....we all notice that size is definitely a factor since we are all bigger than the other four remaining visitors.  This is a bit depressing since out of eight people, I was chosen second.  No problem.  I can take it.  She explains that on this run, the brakes can only be set as a group.  The next run can be set individually so we can go with whoever we want.  Good, I think.   Little did I know....

We get strapped onto the line and hover for a few moments, swinging in the air.  The attendant reminds us again to keep our legs apart.  No knees haven't been able to touch in years.  I get into flight position and she releases the brake. towards some very calm gentlemen on the opposing platform.  He has two orange sticks up in the air signaling me to stay in flight position.  As he moves the sticks downward to signal the landing position, I suddenly hit a series of brakes designed to slow me down.  BAM....BAM....BAM....Very loud...vary jarring.....Very effective!  I stopped....and before he had to jump out of the way!   Fifteen seconds and it was over.  Thank Goodness that this is the short run.  I swayed for a few moments and then he brought me over a step ladder to stand on while he disconnected me.   Loree and I watched the remainder of the group take their trip and then jumped aboard a truck to take us to the Mainline. 

The Mainline starts on a platform 60 feet above the ground.  It looks more like 160 feet.  You can't even see the wires for a few minutes.  It looks like you will sailing off into....nowhere!  Gloria, Loree and I were all going first.  Our guide began telling us what number we would be.  I was number 3.  I was reminded of the whole "independent brake" issue when I heard our guide on the radio.   We have a R on line 2, a F on line 3 and a W on line 4.  I'm assuming that meant Regular for Loree, Wispy for Gloria and Fat Girl for me.  This was later confirmed when we heard the responding radio later say...."We can't take a F on line 1.....the brakes won't take it!"  In the end, do I want the Fat Brakes?  You bet....Forget my pride....I don't want to have the little girl brakes and end up on the other side of the platform...falling into the lions den!  Don't think that they weren't looking up and sizing me....a meal fit for the whole pride!

The ride was great.  Two minutes of soaring like a Condor, as the add states!  The animals were running around beneath us....most likely thinking...Wow...That's one well fed Condor!  Eventually the other platform came into view with the attendant holding the orange sticks.  Down they go - I push into landing position.  Here we go again.... BAM...BAM...BAM...BAM....I stop....and then slowly start moving of the platform....hanging in the air....I start flapping like a Condor...trying to get back above the platform.  I must have looked ridiculous since the attendant yelled...."It's'll come back!"   I did...and then swayed in the air while Loree and Gloria joined me.  Each of us got unhooked and walked back to the gate to complete our journey. 

It was a great day.  One I will most likely repeat.  I'm almost ready to do the sky diving but since that requires me to make some stranger strap up with me, I think it's more socially conscious to wait.   I can't decide if I want a 250 pound guy that will at least absorb some of my weight or some 150 pound guy that will make us less likely to fall like a rock!   Sooooo....that may still be a distant goal at this point.  But...that's OK!  I'm still going to live right now in other ways.  I'm still focusing on taking the weight off, but plan on just living while I'm doing it.  I started reading a book by Loretta LaRoche called "Lighten Up!".  To give you an idea of what she writes, she has another book titled "Life is Short-Wear Your Party Pants".  I'm enjoying her point of view.  Eat less...exercise more....and stop perseverating about it.  I may just be able to make this work!

Love to you all!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Candy is sweet....but victory is sweeter!

Victory!!!!  Victory is mine...I did the Kick Boxing class again and did not...a) pass out, b) throw up or c) leave at the 30 minute mark.  Joy and I did leave a few minutes early but only to get ready for work.  I believe I actually had an asthma attack with an audible wheeze at some point , but the music was so loud that I figured that no one could hear me anyway.  Actually, at one point, I couldn't tell if I was getting my beat from the bass in the music or from my carotid arteries pounding in my ears.  I believe I actually went past "red faced" and reached a new shade of from the blood pounding in my head and blue from the fact that I was still getting no oxygen in.  Joy came over twice to whisper.."are you OK?"  I smiled and gasped...."Yeah...great....why?"  It may have been the fact that those three words took about 3 minutes and several gasps of air each to get out.  But who cares.......I didn't leave!!!!!!!!!

I still believe that the teacher is some form of animal.  She asked us twice to try to kick her as she walked by.  "Kick with force...try to get me in the head when I come by...."   I can kick high.  It was tempting.  She was very encouraging as she passed though and even waved when we left.  I think she was relieved.  She looked a little disturbed when she first came in like she was thinking....great, the wimpy fat girl is back.  I felt a little more respected when I left.  My kicks may not have been as high and I may have been jabbing when others were upper cutting but overall, I was still....moving! 

Have you ever seen the Nutrigrain commercial in which the woman grabs a breakfast bar instead of a donut and this spurs on a full day of good choices?  I won't say that I made every great choice today but I did not hit the candy jar even once.  Nope.....I was not going to waste one back upper jab or one step of that infernal jump rope on refined sweets.  I needed to prove something to myself today.  It worked....I was on a high all day.  It took about two hours for my face to return to normal...I was walking around looking like a radiation victim for quite a while.  Again....who cares!!!!  I didn't leave!!!!!!

Soooo.....I will be heading for bed in a few minutes so that I can resume my healthy habit of waking at 4am and hitting the gym at 5am.  I feel good today....I had a brief glimpse of why people can get addicted to exercise.  I don't really think it's that actual exercise that does's making it to the end and saying...Hey!  I did it!  So while this may seem like a very small accomplishment....I will relish it and let it carry me through to another day...and another.  Life is good.....