Yesterday Zenie asked me if I wanted to try out the mega zipline in Sentosa, so I checked out their website to get more information about it.
Well that certainly made my heart pound, all right, and not in a good way. I am scared of heights, and I wasn’t sure I could handle it. Then I saw something else:
For some reason, though there was still height involved, it seemed less scary yet more fun at the same time. So I told Zenie that I wanted to do this instead and I even asked my friend who works in Sentosa if he has ever tried it, if it was any good. He had never tried it, but he said he had employee discounts to the tickets and bought our tickets for us. When we got to Sentosa to collect the tickets from him at the bar where he works, he even gave us free drinks. He’s terribly nice!
Zenie and I then walked to the MegaZip area, huffing and puffing up the steep incline of a road that we had to pass before getting there. We needed to hurry because they closed at 6pm. I asked Zenie how we were supposed to finish an obstacle course when a simple walk had us wheezing.
When we got there, we handed over our green tickets and a guy taped them around our wrists. He then asked us to place our valuables in a small bag which we hung around our necks, then he wrapped us in rope gear for our harnesses and asked us to shed our footwear and don a pair of Crocs slippers. It took some time before I found a pair in my size.
|Zenie in gear|
He then asked us to head to the first tower, where we got a chance to see our obstacle course terrain. Another guy asked us to choose a level. We chose level one, for beginners. The guy told us we could only have a go at it once. He felt sure that we would get bored with that level, but we assured him that we were definitely beginners and would be perfectly happy at that level, thank you very much.
|The obstacle course terrain|
He then hooked us to a harness that was connected to a rolling metal mechanism that would allow the harness to follow us all around the entire obstacle course. He explained the rules that we had to follow – that we were not to hold on to the rope where the harness was hooked on, just the harness itself, how we were supposed to move our harness every time we reached a station, that we could not overtake each other and the one who went first would have to end first. Zenie asked me to go first. Gulp.
I walked over to the edge of the first rope obstacle and looked at the rope I had to cross and the tangle of ropes on its sides, thinking, “There’s no way I can do this!” Zenie echoed my thoughts behind me, saying, “What have we gotten ourselves into?” Suddenly I had a renewed admiration for those people I see on TV shows doing this kind of thing. I turned around, looked at our guide, and asked, “So… umm… how do people usually do this?” Luckily he didn’t laugh at me and replied with instructions. “You hold on to your harness with your right hand and balance yourself using those ropes with your left hand.” I still wasn’t sure about how to proceed, but I took a deep breath and tried to do as he said. All the ropes shook badly as I walked, a visual testament to how nervous I was feeling, and I would’ve laughed if I hadn’t been so scared. After some time, I managed to wrap my arms around my first station and breathed a sigh of relief as Zenie shouted, “Good job, Heids!” behind me. I slid my harness’s rolling metal thing over the station dividers as instructed before rooting through the bag around my neck to fish out my camera and take a shot of Zenie on her turn through the first obstacle.
|The first obstacle|
The second obstacle was easier than the first – a mass of ropes forming a net. It seems more of an obstacle but there is more rope to put your feet on, so I got through it without incident once I had made my first unsure step, my sweaty feet slipping in my borrowed Crocs. I was beginning to wish I had tied my hair back as my face was now drenched in sweat like the rest of my body.
|The second obstacle|
|Laughing my fears away|
After that, there was just a tight rope with no hand holds, just a huge red ball hanging in the middle. “How am I supposed to walk on this?” I wailed.
Two of the guides appeared below me. “Just walk straight. You can do it!”
I didn’t believe them. I really didn’t know what to do, it was like my entire brain had shut down and left me only with the paralyzing fear that has gripped me since I was a child, especially in the nightmares that jerk me awake in the middle of the night. I wanted to head back.
Then I remembered the guide’s words: “There’s only one way in, and one way out.” And somehow that reminded me that I had a harness and that I should learn to trust it. “Can I do this sideways?” The guide nodded yes.
So I took my first step on the tight rope, my feet pointing to the right, my body leaning backwards, pulling away from the harness, and that’s when I first realized that I could trust my harness. And I walked.
|That damn tight rope|
When I got to the next station, though, I saw that there was a gap between two wooden planks that I was supposed to jump over. I trusted my harness, but I didn’t trust the wood. Somehow I was afraid that it would break upon my impact, which is silly, I know, but then there it is. So I just took one giant step over the gap.
After that point, all my fears fell away and I trusted my harness completely. The only problem I had was the rope burns that hurt my hands and the upper body tiredness that forced me to rest at each station. I walked through a few more rope and ladder bridges and a plank with seesaws on them.
At the very end, I had to ride a small swing-type seat and whoosh in a mini-zipline. “Wheeeee!” I found myself yelling, not out of fear but fun.
“That was so much fun!” Zenie and I both announced gleefully to each other after we had landed back where we started. We had both shed our fears and even wanted to take the second level or maybe ride the mega zipline that we were so afraid of earlier, but it was getting dark and it looked like it was about to rain, so we headed back and took back our stuff and bought a couple of the pictures that they took of us while we were on the terrain.
Check out this video I made of our stills and a clip of Zenie zipping at the end. I realized that the song “Defying Gravity” is perfect for it, wouldn’t you agree? ♫ Too late for second guessing, too late to go back to sleep. It’s time to trust my instincts, close my eyes and leap. It’s time to try defying gravity… ♫
After that, we decided to reward ourselves with Singapore slings. Singapore sling, by the way, is a famous cocktail made in (duh) Singapore. My friend made it for us and I must say, it’s the best one I’ve had so far (though I’ve only ever drank it like three or so times before). When we asked to settle the bill, my friend said it was on the house. See, he’s really awfully nice! Do drop by Sky Bar and try out his cocktails!
|Singapore sling at Sky Bar|
The night didn’t end there, though. Zenie and I headed to Tampines to meet Maya, and we realized how famished we were and each polished off a plateful of Tapa King’s crispy fried liempo with rice and egg and tomato salsa. Then they closed up the hawker on us, so we transferred to Starbucks – just like old times. We let Zenie try Maya’s favorite dessert – chocolate peanut butter stack.
Our next adventure – Bali. It starts tonight. Can’t wait! 🙂