Monkey Business

By Diane DeVaughn Stokes

Monkey Business

Rah! Rah! Rah! Once a cheerleader, always a cheerleader; that’s what they say! Yet, so many times, I have tried to be athletic about something. I actually almost had a shot at it in high school when I was selected for the volleyball team, but we moved six weeks later and that was the end of my volleyball dreams. I can recall one flag football game at Francis Marion University where I earned star status because of my ability to run fast when given the ball, but catching it was another thing. As an adult, I played a tiny bit of tennis on an adult league back in the seventies, but games started to interfere in my social life. I was a fairly good water skier as I could even slalom, but snow skiing scared the crap out of me. I loved being amidst the snow, but the fear of someone crashing into me kept me tucked inside the clubhouse in front of the cozy fire drinking hot chocolate.

Nowadays, I do take pride in being a scuba diver with one hundred dives under my belt. It’s a great vacation pastime that might not sound athletic to you, but just standing with that tank on your back takes strength! Sadly, my athletic prowess and competitive spirit wilts in comparison to all my friends. Plain and simple, I have never been athletically inclined. I was the kid in gym class who could not climb the rope or do a chin-up or push-up. I hate going to the gym unlike my two sisters who are possessed about going. So what was I thinking when I recently offered to do a TV interview and demo at Go Ape Ropes and Zip Line course in North Myrtle Beach at the new Park and Sports Complex off highway 31?

Zip lining in Costa Rica five years ago was easy, so I figured this would be much the same. Strap yourself in the harness and push off from the platform, and you’re swinging down a line amidst trees and foliage with the wind blowing through your helmet. Just jump and swing like a monkey. But in North Myrtle Beach, the zip line was a piece of cake, it was the straight up ladder-climbing and holding onto the ropes as you traipse across a moving platform to get to the other side of the field that was a killer. Sheesh. This was tough. Then there was this Tarzan-type swing where I bravely jumped, harness attached of course, into a net and then had to climb to the top of that net to get to the nearest recovery stand. Jane I definitely was not! OMG!

There are times as the producer of a TV show that I get carried away knowing something will make for great TV, but I forget that the host, me, is not as young as I used to be. I was sweating bullets. My make-up was dripping. My hair was matted down to my head. It just wasn’t pretty. I was a mess and totally exhausted. The best part of the experience was the final zip line across the big park lake, except I crash-landed head first instead of feet first. But hey, I did it! I completed the course. And that is the challenge I guess – pushing oneself to the limit and relishing in the accomplishment, then celebrating it’s over!

If you and your friends are looking for some laughs and some sore muscles for at least a week, I highly recommend Go Ape. It would be fun for a family outing. The kids would love it. Just leave grandma and grandpa at home, or ask them to cheer y’all on from the mulched up areas down below. But remind them, the course takes about two hours to complete, or four hours if you are like me. Talk about a difficult editing job for my TV show. My editor is still not talking to me! Who knew monkey business could be sooooooo difficult? I now know!

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One Response to “Monkey Business”

  1. Congrats on completing the course!

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