Monday, August 10, 2015

Radical Ropes

My daughters wanted to do one last blowout weekend beach trip before school starts back next week. Who was I to deny this to them.

So off we went after work on Friday evening. Throw in a fuel stop for both us and the car and we didn’t lay our heads on the pillows until after midnight.

Of course, just because we are on a beach trip doesn’t mean that I get to sleep in or lay off running. No sir. I was out the door by 7 AM and headed up the beach.  A full five miles needed to be run with lots sightseeing before heading back on the return trip. No rest for the weary, we headed out for a full day at the beach. Between the sun and surf, the hours just melted away.

After grabbing dinner, we were off to do put-put at Mt. Atlantis. Forty-eight dollars and untold number of steps, I was officially tired.  I did get 3 holes in one.

Back at the hotel, I barely closed my eyes or it seemed like it before sun shining into our room. Out the door for another 10 run, this time a southern 10 mile jaunt along the ocean.  While most beaches are relatively the same, the area around them can be vastly different. The highlight of this run was the spotting of a UFO saucer shaped house. The house had 360 degree view of the horizon. I would have loved to go inside and check it out.  

Off again to the beach until check out time. Next up came shopping before finishing the evening off with a spectacular adventure.  

Over the years, I have been on a few rope obstacle courses. Did a Spartan run a couple of years ago. Sunday, I did a new concept in rope obstacle course called Radical Ropes. Having recently opened, people were checking it out.

My daughters caught sight of it on Saturday evening while driving past so I promised we would come back to find out more about it. We would do the rope courses if we could get a reservation. Low and behold, they got us in at 4 PM. The expected duration time for taking the course was 2 and half hours.

Driving by, the course didn’t look too difficult. Once I got up close, I wasn’t so sure.

After a brief explanation on the rules and procedures, they sent us off on the course.  There are 3 courses. The first course is relative easy and is about 20 feet off ground. The second course is about 40 feet off the ground and is a little more difficult. The third level is about 60 feet off the ground and is about 50 times harder.  Each level consisted of 16 different rope obstacles.

My daughters went first and were flying along the course. I am bigger, heavier, and well, yes, I will say, a lot less coordinated. My heart was racing and sweat was rolling down my forehead. Each obstacle is different but all used lots of balance, coordination, and upper body strength. Not traits consistent with being a runner.

We finished up the first course in about 45 minutes, and I was spent. We grabbed a sip of water and head out on the 2nd course. My arms and shoulders were burning.  An hour later, we had finished the 2nd course.

When we got level 3, the guide tried to talk us out of it. He said it was exponentially harder and he was right. I was 60 feet off the ground. At this height the relay platforms sway in the wind. Add in the sun burning down on us. I was 2 obstacles in and my shoulders hated me for dragging them through this. At the vertical ladder crossing, I had to stop in the middle and hang on to the board to let my arms rest.  We past ½ point of the obstacles and my arms would shake with each crossing.

Level 3 is so hard that we were the only ones on it which was good. We spent time resting between each of the obstacles. An hour and half later, I stopped off the last obstacle. We were all so tired that none of us wanted to go back and do any of the other courses again.

Radical Ropes is a cool concept but similar to Spartan events, it isn’t for older or out of shape individuals. Throughout the courses we were secured to the cable so we were never in any real danger of falling.  The course are more about pushing and testing yourself.  Today, the soreness can be felt throughout my arms, back, and shoulders.

Driving home last night, I looked over to see them all fast asleep in their seats.  The thought occurred to me this may well be the last adventure we have together. Life moves on. My oldest daughter heads off to college this fall. Her sisters are growing up faster than I want them. I am getting older and they are getting stronger, more coordinated, and more adventurous. My days of keeping up with them may come to an end, but it wasn’t today.

Kids grow up in a blink of an eye, and it is true so don’t waste a minute of it. Make as many memories with them while you can. Even when it means, I am hanging from a cable 60 feet in the air.


Oh so sore,

The Cool Down Runner










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