Athens, OH 21 October 2013 – What better to do on a Saturday morning than climb up the side of a 3 story structure only using six inch pegs and then navigating an elevated obstacle course that is built for instability? Well to be honest with you when it’s all said and done not many things. But if you were looking at any of the engineers that were staring down the challenge course atop The Ridges here at Ohio University, that would not be your first thought.
The course from the ground up looks very intimidating and that was exciting for some of us (myself included) and terrifying for other (a close friend of mine). No matter how any of us felt we partnered up and tackled the course and it all started by climbing the “ladder” up. I have to admit the feeling of being 2 stories above people with small medal pegs as your ladder is a mix of exhilarating adrenaline with a healthy dose of terror. But with each little step it got easier and before you know it you were atop a platform with a two tiered challenge course staring you down.
The best part about this first step is almost every engineer that was there that day climbed up the tower, some having to overcome a severe fear of heights but they did it. To me that was the coolest part of the day seeing people who would never have seen themselves climbing the side of a wooden structure, stand on the top platform victorious.
Some people stopped after that achievement but myself and others kept going just to see how far we were willing to test our healthy respect for the dangers of heights (Even though we were securely fastened at all times [with training] to the course with ropes). My climbing partner (Even Boso) and I enjoyed the rush and tried to challenge ourselves even more as we went through obstacles by limiting the amount of support we would allow ourselves from the stability ropes provided or by running through the course at more than necessary speeds.
It definitely added an extra element of fear in some cases but for us it was what we were looking for and made the day all the more fun. Other people took on only a limited amount of the course but for them that was more than enough to get their blood pumping. No matter what part we were crossing we all encouraged one another, whether it be to just get across which in some cases seemed impossible to us, or if it was to cheer on an ambassador that wanted to do an obstacle in some “advanced” form.
In all it was a fun way to bond as a group and an awesome opportunity to push ourselves outside our comfort zone with the support of friends around us. Last, but far from least was the end of our day when we had to leave the course. The way up was the ladder but the way down was a slacked zip line. We all took our turn standing on an eagle platform and simply falling off, and when that feeling that you were just going to drop straight to the ground came over you and your grip tightened, the zip line slack tightened and you glided towards the ground safe and sound.
Some of us screamed, others threw their hands in the air but when we landed it was unanimous that we all had fun. So what I got from the high ropes course was never be scared to challenge yourself, especially when you have people around that will support you. Because who knows, you might find something you really enjoy.