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Lessons Learned While on the Zip Line

Posted by Janelle Lang on

Many of you know my personal word for 2015 is BOLD. In my desire to do things well and with excellence I miss out on opportunities. I am afraid to fail and/or fear I will not do whatever the given opportunity is well causing others to think less of me (totally all my issue).

At the end of the day, this all boils down to pride; I am more concerned at times with what others think and in turn that causes me to miss out on great experiences. I also believe there are times when God is just waiting for me to take that first step, to show that I do trust His plan vs just wait for it to happen.

Now that I am 50 my word has taken new meaning. Montana has been a great place to test my willingness to be BOLD.

I have no problem with heights but there is something about a zip line that had me anxious. Skiing down mountains has never been an issue but some how zip lining was different. Bottom line it is a control issue as the zip line it is about trusting your equipment and guides to do what they have been made/trained.

We had a professional photographer to capture our experience and the photos you see are the result of Ian’s talent. Viewing them I was able to learn a lot about myself from expressions I was making as well as some good life lessons they would illustrate.

Lesson One: Stay focused on the goal but not to the point you miss what is happening around you.

The guides told us at the end of each line we would see an orange rope. Our goal was to grab the orange rope and hang on. If we failed to grab the rope we would end up going back out 30 feet and the guide would have to come out and belay us back together. Being a rule follower I did not what to be “the one” who didn’t grab the rope so the first two zips I focused the entire zip on the rope and missed out on some of the surroundings.


Lesson Two: Surround Yourself with People You Trust

When it was my time to “step off” the platform it was all I could do to move my feet. I knew my harness had the 4-point safety check; Jonathan and Ethan were well trained to ensure the highest level of safety. I was properly secured but it was a long way down. I finally had to step off in faith that everything would work as it should.

Lesson Three: Enjoy Your Surroundings

Even though it was still tough to step off the platform on the second zip, I chose to focus more on my form and not worrying that I was going backwards and just enjoy the view while still looking for that orange rope!

Lesson Four: Have Fun

By the third zip I was doing a cannon ball, which makes you go faster vs. the “star fish” that slows you down. The last zip was a competition as there were two lines and I was up against Jenny from Chicago. While we were waiting to go I shared with our guide Jonathan and those on the platform my word for the year. It was fun to bring others in on my word/mission for the year. Now I was suddenly competing to win on a zip line, which was taking my BOLD to a new level. Jenny’s son pushed her off the platform before the official start so what was I to do but cannon ball so I could catch up…. and win!

Bottom line, if I hadn't been BOLD I would have missed out on a great experience, learning about myself, having fun and memories for a lifetime.

Thank you to Ian at Crystal Images Professional Photography and awesome guides Ethan and Jonathan of Big Sky Basecamp.


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1 comment


  • What a great post. I know what you mean about diving off that first line. I closed my eyes until close to the end and then was so mad at myself fro missing all the fun on the first zip. I didn’t make that mistake twice! So proud of you for doing this!!

    CareyOD on

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