Encouragement from Below

In a previous blog, Ready, Set…. I mentioned that a zip line was in my future. Friends looked at me with raised brows. They know me well.

A couple of weeks ago we headed to Mont Tremblant in Quebec and the Adventure Course. Standing in the small booking office I noticed, right beside the large sign for the Adventure Package, an equally large sign for a Spa Package. Ooooooh, massage, manicure, pedicure, facial…. I forced my eyes back to the Adventure Package. Oh no, rope ladders, swing bridges, zip lines, harnesses, helmets……

The next day we arrived early at the designated Adventure point. We were met by a friendly instructor who immediately eyed us up and down and determined that we fit into the height and weight requirements. While still asking when the tranquilizers would be distributed I found myself fitted into a harness and a helmet sized to my already sweating head. Not the type of facial I could have been enjoying.

Geared up and ready to go.

More people gathered, all sizes and shapes. Serious instruction was given and we all had to pass a practical test to show we understood the safety aspects. At this time I realized no tranquilizers were coming.

The first level wasn’t too terrifying. It’s called the Kiddie Level. Yeah for me!

The next level was a little more challenging but only slightly terrifying. After this stage the shorter, lighter children were told they would not be physically able to participate in the next levels. I did not fall into that category.

I soon found myself standing on a wire 40 feet above the ground. Boards and hoops were obstacles between me and the next tree platform. I practised my I-am-a-statue stance. Then I heard a young voice from below, “You’re doing great. You can do it.” A young girl who didn’t have the height to participate in this level was below me on the ground. “Turn your left foot towards me and reach around the board” she calmly encouraged.

You can see my cheer leader bottom left guiding me through the hoops and around the boards.

At another fifty foot high station were I was once again perfecting my imitation of a statue I heard, “Just grab the rope and swing really hard.” Well, the only true words that time were really hard– both physically and my landing.

Oops. That wasn’t supposed to happen. Now what?

As the adventure continued she continued to periodically pop up and cheer me on. “Are you having fun?” I didn’t have the heart to tell her that the hot stone massage was sounding sublime at that point.

“You’re doing great.” More encouragement from below.

When I was once again on terra firma and feeling quite pleased with myself for completing all levels (this is where you start formulating your congratulatory response) I spotted my young champion on the practice rope bridge. I thanked her for her encouragement, told her she had been a tremendous help to me, and that I wanted to shake her hand. She seemed genuinely surprised that her behaviour had been unusual. No one had told her to cheer me on. No one had told her to be supportive of others. She reached down to shake my hand and once again said, “You did it. You were great.”

Thanking my ten year old for her kindness and encouragement.

Is there something you want to do but are reluctant to attempt? In the words of a truly lovely ten year old girl, “You’re doing great. You can do it.”

About etiquetteottawa

Founder and Owner of the Protocol School Of Ottawa
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7 Responses to Encouragement from Below

  1. Karen Hull says:

    So the cheerleader doesn’t come with the package….

  2. karenhickman says:

    How refreshing to have such a champion and you are so brave, my friend!

    • She was such a delight Karen. I spoke with her mother after and she said she didn’t know how her daughter got to be so kind, that she was always like this. I told her mother that I knew and then pointed at her (I know, that’s rude). Children learn by example.
      As for being brave – I’m not sure. Bruised, yes!

  3. Gaye says:

    Inspirational Suzanne. Thank you for sharing. There were many lessons learned that day. We look forward to our adventures on the zipline soon.

    • Thanks for your comments Gaye.
      Yes, many lessons learned that day. I still think of that young girl and her natural kindness.
      I hope you do get to experience the zip line adventure. We can compare photos, bruises, and congratulate each other!

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