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How Obstacles and ZIP lines can help you with personal development

I feel so proud of myself, like a kid. I should call my mum right now to tell her," LOOK, LOOK, how good I was!!" I feel that anything is possible.

Now that the adrenaline effect is gone, I see this weekend activity as a fading memory. I don't want to get rid of it; I don't want to stop thinking about how I felt. So there is only one solution. I am doing it again soon..However, I am afraid of heights. It is not a phobia or anything like that, but it just makes me a bit panicky.

During the last year and a half as a coach and mental trainer, I talk a lot about how to provide first help if someone has a panic attack. On that tree, I thought: what if this person is me? I had never tried to walk on a zip line or to walk through small obstacles at the height of maybe 5-6 meters. It might not be high for many, but it is for me.

However, waiting for me on the other side of the zip line was my boyfriend. He was an excellent coach: encouraging and positive and did not make fun of me when, in order not to panic on each increasingly tricky exercise, I was using the anti-stress breathing techniques I learned during guided meditation. They really work. I used to be such a stressed person in the past, that I could not even breathe properly when talking, I think.

And now look at me: on a zip line, making baby steps, and find strategies. In the pictures, you can see I had to pass through some wooden circle which was up in the air. Each ring was a bit separated from the other, which made you choose: shall I slide onto the other circle with my chest (this means you will assume a lying on your belly position), or, since I am already ducking, shall I jump a bit, risking that my foot might get into the space between the circles? You have to decide. Nobody can do that for you at that moment. They might advise you, but they will not resolve your problems for you (as in life!!!).

And some more emotions: I had to learn that, in order not to fall, you have two big clips: one that you have to remember to use it on the ropes, and the other one that keeps you always tied to the tree — what a beautiful metaphor. There is still something that supports you, but for extra support, you have to rely on your memory, on your inner strengths, on yourself. In this way, you have to trust yourself. Which means you have to LOVE yourself.

Last but not least: COUPLE BUILDING. We were motivating each other, leaving us free as well (my boyfriend went on another more difficult one after the one we did together, and I was motivating him by taking pictures of him. I was sure he would succeed, and I was not passing on the possible fears connected to a more difficult Parcours - I mean 10, 11 meters aaaa!!). He said that I was doing very well, and we were laughing a lot during the last bit, in which you have to jump.

To summarise: you want to grow personally and in many aspects? Try zip lines, as a metaphor of going around the obstacles that you will anyways find in life. On top of that, it will help you to:

  • Train your brain and your memory

  • Build self-confidence

  • Improve problem-solving

  • Communicate better with a partner, friend, group

  • Encourage others and show compassion

  • Improve decision-making

It is the mountain and nature equivalent of ASSERTIVENESS!!

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