At one camp, part of staff training involved teamwork activities, one of which included a high ropes course that was a part of the offerings at camp. For those not sure what a high ropes course is, it is like an obstacle course build up high in tress or poles. Ours was located up in a bunch of trees that were reached by a high ladder and ended with a zip line across a field. Every person who went up on the course was required to wear a harness for safety and support that high up. (Part of our naturalist staff was trained and certified in this.)
The first year, I made it up the ladder to the platform, but my fear of heights was so severe that I didn't make it any further and ended up coming down. I helped catch people when they came off the zip line.
The second year, I got a little braver. Despite my nearly debilitating fear of heights I got up the ladder, hooked up to the harness, and through the course... somehow. My high ropes course partner was just about as afraid of heights as I was and we spent a large amount of the course with me wrapped around a tree and my partner wrapped around me and the tree. We made it through, taking the shortest route we could and even made it across the field on the zip line. Facing our fears is not always an easy thing to do, but it can be done and there can be great rewards as a result.
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