Over the weekend, I had a chance to do something crazy. My family found ourselves at WonderWorks Myrtle Beach Ropes Course at Broadway at the Beach. In case you missed it, I posted a rather lengthy, but thorough, review of one of Broadway’s family attractions. You can check that out here. What didn’t get included was their indoor ropes course on the 4th floor. It’s included in the price of admission, and you’re able to do it as many times as you’d like if you want to wait in line.
I started out feeling brave – on the ground
Standing on the ground, I was pretty brave. Both Mr. MyrtleBeachforFamilies and I decided it would best for all four of us to go up in case one of the kids needed help. As we got closer, I got more nervous. I started to notice people around me who sent their children up unattended. As we all got strapped into our harnesses, I could actually feel my blood pressure rise. My younger daughter told me she was nervous, but excited.
So here’s the deal. You are put in this contraction that goes on like a backpack. It snaps at your chest. Then there are two other straps that come between your legs and fasten at your hips. There is someone there doing it for you, so you can’t mess it up.
This harness is then attached to a…I’m not sure what to call it. A tether, maybe? It clips onto your chest and is inserted in a track above your head. It glides with you as you walk. The premise is that if you fall, I estimate you’d descend about six inches and find yourself sitting in your harness. Perfectly safe, right? *insert nervous laughter here*
The last part of your apparatus is a timer that, I swear, they said was set to 10 minutes, but I believe we actually got a full fifteen. It lights up green when you’re out of time and you make your way down as quickly as possible.
Going up to the WonderWorks Myrtle Beach Ropes Course
As you ascend the stairs, they bounce and there is no handrail. The first obstacle is a crooked balance beam with no supports. There are no ropes or bars to hold onto. All you can do is hold on to your tether in front of you, pulling it tight for balance. When my older daughter went across I was too busy freaking out, standing on the platform to notice – especially since Dad was in charge of her. When it was time send the little one across, I could barely breathe.
She went with zero issues and it was my turn. I had to dig deep and adjust my big girl pants, but I made it. It was only then that I realized the next obstacle was a literal rope with mid-level grasping ability…and the whole thing bounced. My heart was in my throat and I nearly cried when I got the little one on it. I yelped when I had to let go of her. Nothing to see here, folks. Just a mother about 15 feet off the group having a nervous breakdown.
When it was my turn I had this moment of panic. “I can’t do this.” My husband looked back at me. “Come on, you’ll be okay,” he encouraged. “I don’t know. I…can’t. I just can’t…but,” I stammered. He coaxed and then relented. “If you need to go back, it’s okay. You don’t have to do it.”
I felt this weird rush of relief mixed renewed panic. How could I leave him up there with both kids? It was then that one of the lifeguards, for lack of a better word, showed up and stood on the end of the rope. “I’m going to stand here so it bounces less. Come on. You can do it.” I don’t why I trusted her, but she had on the official green shirt and whistle, so I took the first step. By the fourth, I laughed at her and said,”I feel stupid. This wasn’t as hard as I thought.”
Time flies when you’re having fun
During our fifteen minutes, we traversed a few easy obstacles and some that were nearly impossible. I opted out of several. I almost wet my pants watching my children navigate really precarious areas, praying frantically in my head and keeping a calm, “You can do it, honey!” tone on the words coming out of my mouth.
I’ll spare you the details of each obstacle and wrap it up with this. It was incredibly scary, but even more fun. Just as I began to feel comfortable and semi-confident our session expired. I wish I had a little time to recover and go back for a second shot.
When the four of us found ourselves safely on the ground, all eight of our cheeks were a blazing shade of deep pink. We chattered about being emotionally exhausted and working through a natural fear of plummeting to our death. For someone who isn’t an adrenaline junkie, this experience is a true test of your rationalization skills. You know you’re not going to fall, yet there you are, perched up on a 4 inch beam with nothing but your tether to hold on to. Such a situation leads to some easy stepping, deep breathing, and full concentration, but we all made it down alive to tell the story.
I was on a high all day. I required an alcoholic beverage last night. Today, my arms are a little sore from muscle tension and I’m still wishing WonderWorks would hurry up and come out with their annual pass already so I can go back and do their ropes course over and over again!
Parents, if you get the chance, do it. No regrets here!
Want to read more? Check out the latest on the Myrtle Beach for Families blog.