Saturday, July 21, 2012

Canopy Fun in Moscow

I always thought that jumping of, sliding between, climbing etc. trees is a sort of activity for children and therefore never actually tried it. My opinion has changed last week in Gorky park.
I am given a helmet and a fancy harness and given the proposition to try all 3 routes for 500 rub. Why not I think, I can embrace my inner child even better. I proceed to route one called the "Family", meaning child-friendly. Though it wasn't as easy as I thought, especially since last time I have been walking on narrow wooden beams is at least 20 years ago. But 20 minutes later, a bit sweaty and refreshed I am up for the route two. Here I have a choice, the "High" route or the "Extreme". "High" is easier, but packed, so I am off to "Exreme". 
And that was Xtreme! OMG, number one exercise is to balance on a rope while trying to walk forward holding yourself on bunch of ropes that are hanged above. It demanded cross-functional skills of circus acrobat and a monkey. Even though you are attached to a safety harness, I am determined not to use it and move forward carefully for what it seems for ever. Adrenaline rushes trough my head and did not leave for the next 30 minutes. 
The next few exercises were no easier by all means. Suddenly I am attaching myself to a harness and literary jumping of a tree 8 meters above ground to slide to the other side, about 50 meters away. That was comparably easy one. 20 or so similar challenges and I am faced with something I don't believe is possible to do. I am supposed to go to cross to the other side on a rope on which wooden beams are attached in all possible directions. Using legs and arms and monkey skills I am feeling the cold sweat covering my back as I hang high above ground and feel I have come to a place of no return. Finally that one is over and there is only one left before the finish.
 It's practically rock climbing exercise which I have no experience of. By that time there are quite a few spectators down looking at me, as apparently the "Extreme" route is not very popular with women. I now know why. Pressure is on. I quickly learn a basic rule, you need to be attached with at least two hands and a leg at all times, or two legs and a hand. It seems impossibly hard as I never use my arms much since I feel they are toned enough. Not for this. I have no idea how, but I manage the rock climbing basics and I see myself sliding down to the finish. Never thought I can feel so happy and fulfilled after only 30 minutes of tree fun.
I wrap up the 3rd route like a pro and head back with a big, might have been a nervous one, smile. Who said you can't have outdoor fun in Moscow.