Mexico: I Believe I Can Fly

The next outing happened on Thursday, and it was my pick: Tulum XTreme!
*throw arms in front of chest to make "x" and snarls lip.
First on the Tulum Adventure: well... Tulum, of course! It's basically a mini version of Chichen Itza (not to be confused with Chicken Pizza. Or so says the travel guides from the day before).

Ooooh pretty. I learned my lesson and opted for a sleeveless, airy top and the same teeny navy shorts. Tulum has a lot more trees and a much better breeze since it sits on the water. Right before I turned into a Pissy Pants, it was time to get back in the van and head into the Mexican Jungle.

Remind me again why I think I'm such a hard ass??

So, Cricket our instructor, showed us how to zip line properly. It consists of a lot of straps, a harness, some ultra-durable man gloves, a lopsided helmet, and a few more straps... oh and it helps if you have some courage too. And then we began our small trek to the first tower. The first 55 foot-tall wooden, rickety ass tower in the middle of the Mexican Jungle. WTF am I doing?! So, we climb. And climb. And eventually get 55 feet off the damn ground. When we got to the top of the tower, Cricket gave us a "psychological safety harness" and that is exactly what he called it. It was a stupid strap hanging from the top of the tower, which when you think about it, won't do you a damn bit of good if say, the tower plummets to the hard, jungl-y ground below.

At first it's kinda like "oh this isn't so bad, I can see the ground... oh wait... no, no, those are tree tops. Shit."

There was 8 of us in the group with Cricket. I was smack in the middle of it. The chick in front of me apparently was married to some kind of Wilderness Man because he was able to hold a camera and take pictures of himself flying over the tree tops. Gina, Wilderness Man's wife, was not as wilderness-y. Cricket asked us if we had any questions before he started shoving us off the side of the tower. Gina piped up with a "yeah I have one question... is it alright if we swear?!" And with that, she was pushed from the tower and a lovely "hooooooly shiiiiiiiiiit" echoed across the Mexican tree tops.

And then it was my turn. Oh.dear.Jesus. So I squat down, lean back onto my "monkey tail" harness (damn you monkey tail, you better hold up my sissy white girl ass) and Cricket pushes me off the side of the 55 FOOT TOWER. Have I mentioned we were 55 feet in the air? In Mexico? And the only way down was a teeny little wire a few hundred feet long? That landed on another tower that you had to climb? That was even higher that the last one?!! WTF.

I squealed. A kinda screamed and chanted "keep your eyes open!!" Half way through, when I figured that if I died, it'd be quick so I might as well just enjoy myself, I decided to let go of the ropes and just hang there by my little harness around my hips and throw my arms out in the air. Awesome. Absolutely awesome. But then it was almost time to dismount. And I'm a self-proclaimed horrible, ungraceful, moronic zipline dismounter. Actually I think anyone who saw me dismount would proclaim the same. See, you have to keep your feet up so you aren't lobbed off at the shin when you come flying in. So I kept my damn feet up. Waaaay up. To the point where I'm all wobbly and unable to find my center of gravity and oh, did I mention I just flew over the Mexican Jungle and might be a little shaky?!! Well Mr. Zipline himself over there helping us dismount apparently forgot what his first time was like and so he rushed all of us to hurry up and stand up and get the hell out of the way because someone else is coming flying down the zipline with their feet all sprawled out in the air. I basically made these idiodic face-deforming snarls and bumbled around whining "I caaaaan't" when he'd tell me to stand up. Yeah I never got better at that...

So, Zipline #1 = Success! Success in my book = Living & not peeing my pants! Hooray, success!

On to Zipline #2. Which you would think would get easier, right? Ha. WRONG. This one is still 55 feet, but a few hundred feet longer. Which means you go faster, and further, which means higher chance of death or peed pants. Crap.

Well, same scenario: I squealed and told myself to keep my eyes open and then got brave and touched some tree tops and then put my feet waaaay up. And then I bumbled around, whined about how "I caaaaaaan't" stand up or be a graceful woman and Mr. Zipline just needs to deal with the fact that I'm a clumsy white girl from South Carolina that doesn't know jackshit about what she's doing or why she ever thought she should do this. Humph.

And now: the Mother Load ZipLine. This shit put the XTreme in Tulum XTreme. Clever, Nicole... Now we are at the top of a 66 foot-tall tower. In the middle of the Mexican Jungle. It's like a rollercoaster... just the Mexican version. instead of wheels and giant steel bars to strap you in, you have hip harness and tiny wires flying 800 feet across a jungle. A JUNGLE people! So yeah, this one was 66 feet tall and over 800 feet long. Scary.Ass.Shit. About halfway through my ride to the other side (no, not to Hell, just to the last tower) I was really picking up speed. Annnnd it got a little too fast for me. So I pulled my arms and legs in (which was probably dumb since it made me go faster) and started saying out loud "Too fast. Tooooooo fast!!" As if there was a set of breaks someone could tap for me. I tried to puff myself back out and spread my arms and legs, but it was too damn scary. So at the end, I just threw my feet up but I came in sooo fast that I seriously should have just done a back flip for my dismount. I absolutely could not find my center. I looked like a turtle on it's back all flailing around while internally screaming "get me out of heeeeere!" I eventually stood up, all shaky as hell, and thanked God for not having me plummet to a bloody, jungl-y death. Thanks, God!

I survived Mexican jungle ziplining! Check that off the list.

Next up: 60 foot repel. Oh, what the hell... Seriously. One thing of note: ziplining is fairly easy because someone named Cricket pushes you off the tower and you have no control; repelling, yeah, not the same - YOU have control. And you have to lower your sissy white girl ass down a 60 foot hole in earth in the middle of a Mexican jungle.

So, for those of you who have never done a repel, you basically climb up another tower, similar to those wobbly wooden ones from the zipline. And like I said, instead of a good, hardy push from Cricket, the repel process is slow and painful and scary as effing shit, man! My first instinct was to just get really low when I first got to the top of the 60 foot tower. You know, kidna similar to how I got low when the lizard incident happened? Apparently my defense mechanism of choice, is to squat down slowly and be real still. I'm sure I'd do remarkably well with a burglar or foot-chase. Riiiiight.

I got done convincing this sweet girl (early 20s-ish) that she can totally do the repel and she'll be so proud. But then it was my turn and all I wanted to do was turn around and haul ass down the stairs. But for some reason, I bumbled toward the edge instead. Cricket harnessed me in and gave me a rope to lower myself down with. You're supposed to put your dominant hand a little behind your hip and your other hand near your stomach and slowly let go with your dominant hand. I understood the theory just fine - actually getting my body to cooperate with something so wrong was another story.

I first shuffled my heels half way off the edge of the 60 foot tower of doom. Then, I had to keep my legs locked at the knee and slowly lower my ass down so that it was parallel with my feet. To quote Gina: Hooooooooly shiiiiiiit. Cricket was like "Okay, you can start to lower yourself"

"No... I can't. I actually can't. I know what to do but my hand will not physically undo the death grip it has on the rope. You do it!!"

And so he did. Apparently, they've had many an experience with sissy white girls from South Carolina and modified their system to allow for a "safety" rope. The safety rope basically just means Cricket can lower your skeered little ass down until you can do it for yourself. So he helped me for probably the first 1o feet. Then I did a little bounce. And then I started to pick up speed, against my own will. But damnit, the rope was burning my hands even through the giant man gloves, so I kinda just flew down the last 20 feet or so just to keep my hands from catching fire. Oww. I was so shaky and scared and just glad I did it. Gah, it was really scary.

Our last adventure of the day: snorkeling in a cave! There was a big ass flood light under the water, so we could see all the fishies and big ass rocks that we were encouraged to avoid slamming into. Hi, remember me? I'm a clumsy ass and of course I kicked one of the big ass jagged rocks. Oww. Luckily no blood, just a bit of a scrap and some pain. It was so pretty down there, and holy crap did it feel go to swim in 75 degree water after sweating my ass off all over the damned jungle.

I must admit, I am so completely proud of myself for doing this. And now I get to claim that I am totally XTreme.

*throw arms in front of chest to make "x" and snarls lip.



5 Response to "Mexico: I Believe I Can Fly"

  1. Queen Amanda Says:

    In my head I pronounce it "Cheats Anita" :P

  2. Queen Amanda Says:

    And yes, you are X-treme. I'm so in awe of this X-treme experience. I mean I would be impressed with just one zipline. But to tackle all of that craziness in one day is amazing. X-treme Neecole!!

  3. mylittlebecky Says:

    wow. color me impressed. that sounds like an excellent vacay! espech the cave snorkeling! i am jealous!

    ps hellooo! :)

  4. JP Says:

    I went zip lining in Mexico in January and had so much fun! But it is SCARY!!

  5. The Belle Says:

    You know what...at least you survived. I cannot chide you for FLYING THROUGH THE AIR ABOVE THE TREETOPS too loudly since you returned in one piece.