We started on a Saturday morning
Though, we didn’t wear Tarzan’s costume, since it would be a bit uncomfortable for an outbound activity. We also didn’t scream out “aaa uuu oooo uuu ooo”. Instead, we shouted “AAAAARRRGGGHHH” while holding the rope very tightly and focusing not to hit the ground.
For this 24slides team activity, we gathered at the office at 6 am and joined the not-too-crowded Saturday morning traffic. An hour and a half later, our bus reached the destination on a hill with rows of pine trees. Then, we got off the bus and we happily breathed the fresh air while enjoying the beautiful view.
Our ‘Tarzan field’ was a dozen meters of a beautiful pine forest. Here, we saw some pines that had a wooden foothold, which is around 2-4 meters above the ground twining in the middle part of the tree body. Furthermore, in the northern part of the field was the rope net and the climbing board attached vertically. Instantly, we became curious about how it feels to climb and be so high from the ground.
Before jumping into the main attractions, we gathered in the southern part of the field and made a big circle formation. Further, we played several simple games to sharpen our focus. The main game that we played was “The Thumb Up Game”.
The instructor asked us to raise our right thumb high and mention the things that we need to attach our thumb on. Once the instructor named the things, we had to hurry touching anything that he mentioned. Besides, we also had fun touching each other’s noses and heads. It was a great way to break the ice and get into the adventurous mood.
Let the fun begin
After the introductory game, we split into 4 teams: cat, duck, dog, and snake. Yet, we had to imitate the animal that was designated to our team. It was so fun to hear how everyone was trying their best to amuse each other with voice impersonations of a hungry and angry cat, tame and wild dog, and many more.
Afterwards, we moved to the main activity of the day. Another instructor gave us some brief information about safety. He also told us how to use and attach our carabiner and roller, the two main safety kits, on the wire that connects one ride to another.
After putting on our seat harness (safety strap mounted around hip), we picked the level of the track. We could choose the black level, the highest track of all, or the red, the long track with many rope hurdles. If you don’t really like the height and want to feel more relaxed, you can choose the easier levels like blue and purple.
So, there we were, climbing up our first hurdle, which was a vertical rope net. We excitedly attached our carabiner to the red mark on the rope and lift our body up to the first foothold, about 3 meters above the ground.
The rope net was successfully passed, and a short flying fox wire was waiting for us ahead. We connected our carabiner and roller to the red and blue mark on the wire. Our heart beat faster and we slid forward. Less than five seconds later, our feet stepped on the foothold of the highlighted hurdle, the Tarzan Rope.
Face your fears they say
For some of us, it took forever to convince ourselves to grab the rope and jump. Even though most of us had no fear of height, it was still scary finding ourselves so high from the ground. Despite the fear of falling down, we decided to go for it.
“No need to analyze!” shouted the instructor. “If you keep thinking that you are several meters high from the ground, you will imagine yourself down. So, stop analyzing. Go ahead and just do it! You will not fall down as long as you attach your carabiner well!”. He gave us that useful and practical tip to tackle our fears.
It’s now or never
We decided to believe in ourselves, take a deep breath and do the jump. Equipped with courage, we attached the carabine to this thick Tarzan rope, and jumped, letting our body swing forward to the next net rope across. Despite, we screamed out “AAAAAARRRGGGHHH” instead of “aaaauuuoooo”, because, yeah, we’re not real Tarzans, and swinging 3 meters above the ground is so challenging.
While still swinging in the air, we stuck out our hand and grabbed the net. Woah, that was so tense. Eventually, we moved the carabiner to the net and let go the Tarzan rope to swing back to the one behind us so they can experience the same fantastic swing.
After that, we had to climb the net rope horizontally, in order to reach the next hurdle, the half oval rope that hung in a row. This one was harder than the previous hurdles we passed. We needed to get through 10 hanging ropes to reach the next foothold.
Further, we started by placing both our feet on one rope, and then we first moved the right foot to the next hung rope. The left foot came afterward and both our feet were in the same rope again. We kept doing this until we reached the last one.
Thus, we didn’t expect this 24slides team activity to be so tiring, but it was. We had to hold our body weight in order to balance ourselves on the rope so we would not fall down while shifting our bodies. The rope was wobbly all the time, following our body moves, which made it harder for us to calm down and move on.
After a fierce fight against our fear and body tremble, we finally reached the last oval rope and stepped on the wooden foothold. Amazing. Now we could relax for a while.
It doesn’t really need a big effort to move our body in the height. But it takes extra effort to keep moving while handling our fears, which can be overwhelming sometimes. When we finally reached the end of the current hurdle, the fear was still there, but at least we were able to take a deep breath.
We felt that fear continuously, from one hurdle to another, till we reached one point. This point, a single wire walking hurdle, was not as difficult as we thought. On the contrary, it was much easier than the five hurdles we passed so far.
We began to feel so relieved and happy at the same time. Now, the most difficult and discouraging part passed and the fun part came. We passed the next two wooden-rope-bridges with ease. The big problem was over and the easy part took over.
Finally, the easiest part came
Finally, everything got more exciting. We had in front of us a dozen meters flying fox wire spread ahead, inviting us to slide and enjoy the wind and the view below. Yeah, we were ready! It was much more fun than we thought. Some of us shouted out “Wooohhoooo!” to channel out enjoyment and celebrated this like-flying-feeling.
Still, we keep wondering why always the best part goes so fast? We wanted to enjoy the blissful sliding longer, but it ended quite soon. Ultimately, we reached the last part of our track, a net rope like we had at the beginning of the track, but this time we needed to climb down to the ground.
Haaah! We took a deep breath. What an amazing experience being up there and moving from the first hurdle to the last. It was amazing to acknowledge and handle our fears better.
In the end, we gathered back altogether after putting off our seat harness. The snake team was the first winner because they accomplished all the level tracks in the shortest time. The dog team was the runner-up winning team.
The biggest lesson
After taking a break for a while, we went for lunch. We enjoyed delicious food in a Javanese-concept restaurant with great view and fresh air.
What a wonderful day! The hurdles we passed in the Treetop taught us many things about coping with our fears. As humans, we feel the fear of falling down but if we keep moving will help us overcome it. And the hurdles get easier after you’ve gone through the half of the entire track. Oftentimes, we give up on the things when it’s hard at the beginning. Instead, we should be determined to move forward and reach what we’re aiming for.
This 24slides team activity enriched our experience and mentality while giving us priceless lessons. We are now seeing our fears differently. They naturally lie inside ourselves. Do not let them become monsters. Instead, accept them and move on!