My friend celebrated his 60th birthday by jumping out of an airplane.
(Just to clarify, he was wearing a parachute.) When I asked why, he replied, “It was on my bucket list.”
“Wow!” said I. “I don’t think I’d have the courage to do something like that.
Good for you.”
Understand I am not a very adventurous sort, and furthermore, nothing on my “bucket list” has even a remote possibility that while engaging in the activity, I could end up in pieces small enough to fit in said bucket. After all, the way I look at it is if God wanted us to jump out of a perfectly functioning airplane, he wouldn’t have given them locking doors.
Now — should you be so inclined — before mounting high horse and considering me sans courage, realize I get my jollies as a public speaker. According to common knowledge, more folks are afraid of doing that than dying. Therefore, I safely rationalize that my skydiving sexagenarian buddy would watch me in front of an audience and say,
“Wow! I don’t think I’d have the courage to do something like that. Good for you.”
Check. And mate.
Recently, a speaking engagement had me presenting on a cruise ship.
(I know, it’s a difficult job, but someone had to do it.) If you’ve have not had the opportunity to be on one of these floating towns, understand they are indeed titanic. (Hmmm, poor choice of words; let’s just say they’re huge.) Moreover, our ship, Allure of the Seas, is the largest ever.
To picture its scope, think Disneyland afloat, replete with numerous eateries, a carousel, miniature golf course, several performance venues, rock climbing walls — and strung across the top deck from stern to mid-ship is a “zip line,” a cable from which people hang a wheel-like attachment and zip across (hence the name), while hanging way-too-high above the deck.
Obviously possessed by an adrenaline-laced out-of-body demon, and before I could say, “Dear God, stop me!” I found myself tenuously established on the platform’s precipice, hooked to the cable, staring at the void below.
Should you be more rational than I and have never lost enough leave of your senses to engage in this behavior, let me assure you that there are attendants to secure you to the line. In addition, you are adorned in all variety of safety gear, including a plastic helmet — which seems useless unless one falls head first into a sixty-foot-tall marshmallow. There is also a harness, which wraps around your chest, waist, under your arms, and is secured, in the most pretentious fashion between your legs and around your backside. Apparently safety trumps modesty.
With survival instincts redlining, I stepped into the void and found myself indeed “zipping” to a platform on the other side of the ship, where I was released to the safety of solid ground once again. (Well at least as “solid” as one can be on a ship.)
Since it was an out-of-body experience, I needed visual proof so I watched a video of the event, only to be horrified by what I saw:
The harness, while providing security, has the most undesirable side-effect of making one’s butt look vastly inflated. Now, I realize that protection is job one, but really, couldn’t they warn you about that? After all, I had to sign a release and nowhere did I see, “I acknowledge that my posterior will stick out like an orangutan in estrus.” I mean, risking life and limb is one thing, but having my backside enlarged to the size of an Imax screen is a whole other kettle of whales.
Unfortunately, I cannot help but imagine the people 90 feet below looking up and saying,
“Wow! Good for that old guy for zip-lining, but jeeze, look how big is butt is!”
Now, that’s scary.
Zip LIning on the Cruise
Motivational productivity expert and weight loss speaker, Scott “Q” Marcus getting ready to do a zip line on Allure of the Seas at the Quest for Excellence cruise.
About the author: Scott “Q” Marcus is a nationally known weight loss expert for baby boomers and the CRP (Chief Recovering Perfectionist) of www.ThisTimeIMeanIt.com. Get his free ebook of motivational quotations and one year of his highly-popular Monday Motivational Memos at no charge by following this link. He is also available for coaching and speaking.