The Bravest Coward: Zip lining

By Kurt


“I’m gonna break a leg if I go!” I kept thinking to myself a week before our zip lining excursion at Canopy Tours (  I was sure of this because an old classmate at Yale had broken one of her legs zip lining.  Even when I was reassured that zip lining was safe, I still didn’t believe it.  Yet, I still went zip lining.  Just like some of my best experiences in my life, such as traveling to Uganda and interning for Human Connections in Bucerias, I decided not to let my fears overpower my sense of adventure and destroy wonderful opportunities.

My heart skipped several beats before being connected to each zip line.  “Was I going to fall to my death this time?” I thought before zipping through the air like a soaring eagle on 15 different lines.  I always felt like fainting, but the scenery and my movement through the air were unmatched to anything I had seen or done before.  I was way out of my comfort zone.  I was having the time of life, even when I got stuck in the middle of the line.  My safety gear reassured me.  As Churchill once said, “the only thing to fear is fear itself.”

The fact that I went zip lining shows that I am probably one of the most adventurous cowards on the face of the earth.  I spent entire nights worrying about my trip to Uganda this last March.  I feared the unknown.  I knew I would be safe, but my overwhelming doubts destroyed my common sense.  My adventurous heart would convince me to let go of these fears and take a life changing trip.

Interning at Human Connections in Bucerias, Mexico was also a life changing experience that I almost lost because of my fear of being unsafe.  I am glad I dismissed those fears.  What I actually mean by “dismissing my fears” is that I decided that my preconceived risks were worth taking, even when I assumed that they were quite substantial.  After living in Bucerias for more than 6 weeks, I’m happy to say that my initial fear of crime or safety is almost a non-issue. Even though many parts of Mexico might be experiencing social upheaval and crime, Bucerias is safe.  Just like anywhere in the world and in daily life, it is still important to use common sense and take proper safety precautions.  Use sunscreen when you are at the beach, avoid screaming Chihuahuas, wash your vegetables, and most importantly look both ways before crossing the street!  Stuff like that will get you far in life.

Sure, I could have broken my legs zip lining, but it didn’t happen.  I am a survivor.  Life is too short to let our fears overpower us.  Some fears are good, but now I know that letting my nerves prevent me from soaring through the air like a bird- in relative safety- is like letting fear choke the feathers of life’s beauty.