Hanging on by a wire

Jackie Scherer

Mexico prides itself on its zip-lining opportunities, a rite of passage in the world of extremists and daredevils. This is a mysterious yet fantastical place I had only dreamed of entering until this year’s spring break trip to Cancun.

To get ready for my initiation, I tried everything insane over the past year––including graduating from Happy Meals and going on the “big kid” rides at the fair––but it wasn’t enough to satisfy my deepest desires.

So when the opportunity finally arose to complete my already impressive risk-taker resumé, I didn’t hesitate. Little did I know that my impulsive decision to take a chance and try something extreme would nearly be the end of me.

The first few runs on the zip-line proved to be more exhilarating than the locals advertised it to be. I believe I was pretty boss at it; I whooped like I actually had experience and controlled my speed with flawless precision.

About halfway through the tour, some of the guides told my group that we had the opportunity to take one run upside down. Craving another extreme adrenaline rush, I was one of the first to volunteer, thinking only of the glory and great bragging rights.

As I was flipped around, I began to have second thoughts. Going upside-down felt a little too adventurous for my taste. Regardless, I “bravely” remained bottoms-up with my arms dangling towards the distant ground.

I tried entering my happy place as the blood rushed to my head, but my peaceful thoughts were rudely interrupted when I was pushed off the landing-dock, ordering my death sentence. I immediately spun out of control.

As I sped through the rainy jungle, I screamed like a little girl. Witnesses joked about my chanting, “Goodbye, cruel world.” After a mere ten second ride, I had so much momentum that I was unable to slow down. I was about to have a head-on collision with the platform; my life flashed before my eyes in a montage of my craziest stunts.

Although I’m sure it would have been amusing to see me smack my head against a wooden plank––the guide receiving me seemed to think my grand entrance was pretty funny––I’m extremely grateful my mad grabbing skills and cat-like reflexes stopped the impact. I did obtain my glorious bragging rights, but being nearly decapitated by a zip-line run really put things in perspective. Next time I want to become a daredevil, I will resort to cruising the monkey bars.