The Sandoval Signpost (Web edition) is pleased
as punch (diet punch that is) to bring you the humor
and insightful human observations of Daniel Will Harris,
author of My
Wife and Times. —Ed].
By Daniel Will Harris
When's the last time you were weightless? Or
head-over-heels? Or flying without an airplane (or chemical
I was upside down 18 times last Tuesday. I went from weightless
to experiencing 3G's. I linked arms with a friend and we lived
through a 150-foot free-fall without a net.
And you can do it, too.
You don't have to be an astronaut, or sky diver or bungee
jumper. You can experience all those things at a place that's
probably not too far from you. Since many of us spend a lot
of our time sitting at a desk, moving mostly only our hands,
sometimes it's good to go out and get all shook up.
And as much as I love the fact that our minds can now go
virtually anywhere around the world—it is not the same
as strapping yourself down in a roller coaster and doing loop-the-loops
All of which makes you feel like a cross between a soaring
bird and a rat trapped in a washing machine's spin cycle.
At this particular park there was this huge steel arch you
could see from all over. Hanging from the arch was one thin
metal cable. Occasionally some brave soul would dangle from
this thread, be hoisted 153 feet in the air, then dropped,
like a stone. They'd swing back and forth in giant arcs like
the pendulum of a grandfather clock 15 stories high.
I was there with my niece, Ocea (a very mature 22), and my
good friend Pete from Australia. Occasionally we'd stop and
look at this thing and wonder who was crazy enough to subject
themselves to it. There were no big tracks. No heavy metal
supports or braces. Just this thin string, dropping you from
the sky. It seemed out of place—too simple.
We watched, up close, while a person turned into a dot. Then
we heard a click and they turned into a nut on a string.
Ocea, who wants to be on Survivor (and could be because she's
fearless), said, "I'll do it!" Pete and I looked
at each other like she was mad. She never looked scared—she
just hopped into the harness, walked proudly up to the thing
and waved, happily. They hoisted her in the air, dropped her,
and she *flew.* When she finally reached earth again she said,
"That was awesome!"
I looked at Pete and said "We *need* to do this."
Pete looked at me like I was insane and cheerfully said, "OK."
We decided to go as a team. We got into the harnesses, walked
up to the giant arch (think McDonalds x 100), and kept asking
each other, "Why are we doing this?"
Suddenly *we* were the brave-nuts, dangling from the thread,
being pulled 17 stories into the air. And it was lovely. It
was relaxing. Yes, it was high. Yes we were hanging on by
a thread. But the view was beautiful. It was quiet. Peaceful.
Not at all scary.
Then we dropped—weightless for a moment—and this,
too was beautiful (even though I seem to remember saying "Holy
Crap," as we fell). We were like birds swinging in huge
arcs, swooping down just six feet over the grass, then flying
up over the trees. It's was wonderful. Back on land, our feet
still didn't touch the ground.
It reminded me that things often look a lot scarier than
they really are—and sometimes what looks scary is actually
So be a brave-nut this summer, and try something you're afraid
to do. It's a good change from sitting in front of a keyboard.
Enjoy the ride.