By most standards, I carry a pretty hefty amount of life insurance. That makes sense though. As a CEO of two small companies, if something happens to me, there are things that will have to be taken care of that will cost money. We should all plan for the unexpected.
In the fine print of those policies, they lay out some rules. There are several things they tell me I cannot do. If something terrible happens to me while I am doing any of them, they will not pay the claim.
I have seen the list, but probably not for about two decades. I do remember it includes things like: No scuba diving. I can snorkel, but I’m not allowed to scuba dive. No sky diving. Well duh! No parasailing or hang gliding. Double duh! No driving race cars. I can drive my own car like a nut if I choose, but nothing on a race track. No boat racing. Same thing with driving my own boat like a nut, but I don’t have a boat. So that’s easy. There are probably more rules but I’d have to check the list.
So what did I do? I went zip lining through the rain forest in Costa Rica.
If the list were up to date I bet zip-lining would be on it too.
So here I am preparing to fly 300 feet above the base of the rain forest, hanging by a couple of pulleys and strapped into a harness. They gave me gloves to protect my hands. That makes sense because you use your hands as brakes. They gave me a helmut. If I fell 300 feet I doubt the helmut would have helped me much, but if I banged into a tree going 20 miles an hour as I came in for a landing I suppose the helmut was a good idea. (I never fell off my bike as a kid so I never needed a helmut doing that, but that was the 60s. Helmuts weren’t even for sale for kids on bikes).
My legs were slightly shaky as the instructor (such as he was) lent us his direction and expertise. He told us to keep our right hand behind the pulley. If we didn’t our fingers would be severed. Check. Hand in back. Left hand holds onto the harness. Check. What was I getting into?
He told us to keep our head to the left of the cable and to tilt it left or we might go spinning as we were sailing along. I’m not into spinning out of control as I careen through a dense rain forest, so, check.
The first guy goes. He’s the instructor who has to catch us at the end if we fail to stop. He’s all set and I can see him on the other end of what is probably a 200-yard long span. That’s what made my legs a bit more watery. I made jokes about going back to the hut with the other woman dumb enough to be along for the ride. She speaks only Spanish, has no clue what I just said, so I just laugh and get on with it.