Monday, July 31, 2006

Scaredy Cat

I'll get to the title in a moment, but right now I'm in my hotel room in Calgary watching The Freshman, which is a really funny movie. It's been a long time since I've seen it. I used to think Bruno Kirby was irritating, but he's actually a great character actor.

This weekend Lovely Wife and I went to Utah Olympic Park near Park City to do their Xtreme Zip Line. I was nervous because I don't like fast, downward ride type things. The ride goes down next to the Olympic Ski Jump hill, which is ridiculously large and steep in person. I'm even more incredulous about what those athletes do seeing the facility up close. We watched people come down the zipline from the bottom, and it didn't look like it went that fast. As we went up the chair lift, the line got steeper and steeper. LW asked me several times if I was still a "go". I said I'd be fine. It wouldn't kill me. Looking down from the top I was getting really nervous. I wanted to take a few minutes to psych myself up, but LW went right up to the harnesses, so I followed. Getting into the harness, there was a door right in front of me blocking my view, and I was about to chicken out. The girl working the zipline and LW talked me out of it, though, and I strapped in. I closed my eyes before the door opened, and kept them closed for the first few seconds. The horrible, gritting my teeth, "Oh My God, I'm Gonna Die!" feeling didn't last very long, so I opened my eyes and enjoyed the ride. I'd do it again, and keep my eyes open. I'd like to get over my crippling fear of such things.

After the zipline we decided to try the alpine slide. The Bear went on a field trip to Utah Olympic Park for a summer camp and did it, so we thought we'd try it, too. We waited in line for a long time, and finally got onto our sleds and waited in the queue. The slide is different than others I've seen. The slide part is made of metal, not concrete. When I started off, I wasn't going very fast. I stopped, in fact, so I had to grab the side of the slide and pull myself down. This is under the hot Utah sun, in 95+ degree weather in the mountains. It was freakin' hot. I got going soon, though, so it was good... until I reached the halfway point of the slide and stopped again. I pulled myself down almost all the rest of the way down, alternating hands to preserve my skin. Finally, two teenage girls behind me caught up and pushed me the rest of the way down. My hands were burned, blistered, and gray from the metal. The people working near the slide didn't care much, but at the main desk of the park they refunded our money and offered me the services of an EMT. It wasn't that bad, so I just put my hands in the ice in our cooler. I took some pictures of my blisters and a round quasi-brand I got from a rivet, but I don't have them to post right now.

So the moral of the story is: I may be scared of fast, high rides, but I'm tough enough to sear my hands and suck it up.

Sorry if this post is rambling, but I'm watching TV. NBC's Star Tomorrow is dumb. It seems more like a PR piece for David Foster's ego than a legitimate talent contest. I promise my next post will be more coherent.