Last weekend I went to a leadership retreat at a camp out in Buena Vista, CO.
Going out there always makes me feel like I wanna move to Colorado.
I know, I know, I already did that! But sometimes I think I live on the wrong side of Pikes Peak. This weekend for example, all the aspen trees on the west side had already turned a fiery yellow, welcoming and inviting me in to explore the great outdoors and what I consider “real” Colorado.
I should have known it was a trap.
Right off the bat, I was bitten by a spider. I can only assume it was a black widow, but thanks to my superhuman immunities, all it did was leave a large red welt in the middle of my back.
The majority of the weekend was spent in meetings. They were inspirational and informative. The only downside was that they were a tad long, which was exacerbated by the fact that we were all sitting on the floor.
The average age of the leaders at the retreat is about 20 years old, so as someone who’s on the cusp of their 25th birthday, I think I may have been feeling those hours on my backside a little more tenderly than some of the other youngsters in attendance.
I’m not saying 25 is old...I’m just saying it feels old. So to all you parents and coworkers of mine who might be described as being of the elderly persuasion...don’t take it personally. And even if you do, I’m not that worried. From the looks of you, I expect the Alzheimer’s will be kicking in any day now, so the chances of you remembering to be mad at me aren’t looking too good.
I KID! If that made you mad, read on, because this next part that involves me experiencing a high level of physical pain in conjunction with a healthy dose of public humiliation.
The camp we were staying at has a little thing called the Screamer. It’s basically a giant swing that consists of a bar with three swing set seats attached so that three unsuspecting victims can have the sensation of being hurled off the side of a mountain with little to no actual threat to their lives.
The entire process is terrifying, whether you’re leaning off the edge of the 30-foot platform to get hooked in or actually taking the step off the platform that you’re sure is going to lead to a very violent and painful death, but those were actually the least of my concerns. My predicament very poetically began at the end.
After a few exhilarating minutes of swinging over the side of the mountain, it was time for us to return to solid ground. We were instructed to slide down through our swing-seats to get down. Gary and our friend Whitney slid down with poise and elegance. I started to slide and felt something catch on my harness. Gary assured me that he’d help me the rest of the way down, so I should just keep going.
Of course, when you’re me, nothing is that easy.
I should have known I’d be the one whose harness would, in a freak act of nature, somehow get irreversibly tangled up in one of the chain links on the actual swing, suspending me in midair by my upper left thigh.
Doesn’t that sound pretty?
I tried to pull myself back up onto the bar, but then I remembered that I’ve never successfully done a pull-up in my life. So I was just hanging there, desperately trying to hold myself up onto the bar in an effort to alleviate not only the excruciating pain in my left leg, but also the difficulty Gary was having in his attempts to free me.
I imagine it looked a little something like this, only a lot less cute and a lot more pathetic, with a lot more of two dudes holding me up by my butt and a lot less of an inspirational slogan above my head.
Finally, Whitney had the presence of mind to just undo my harness instead of trying to get it out of the chain link, and I was released – but not before I’d had the pleasure of crying upside down while wearing a goofy helmet in front of a large group of strangers.
Needless to say, I woke up the next morning feeling like someone had tenderized me.
Then again, maybe that wasn’t needless to say. Maybe many of you would have been able to withstand all these circumstances with some degree of resilience and grace, and are now wondering why you’ve been wasting all this time reading a blog written by such a weenie.
If anybody needs me, I’ll be in the nurse’s office tending a particularly life-threatening nosebleed.