Just a handful of miles away from my home is the Liberty Mountain SnowFlex Centre – currently, the only snowless ski slope in the United States. Thanks to Liberty University, it has been sitting there waiting for me all this time! Do not get me wrong, I have absolutely no interest in skiing or snowboarding (just not my thing); but, tubing has always sounded exciting. I mean, you sit in a tube and you go downhill! No learning curve there! It just seemed like amazing fun.
Believe it or not, Eric was a bit uncomfortable when I brought up the idea of using the SnowFlex mountain; he had heard several stories of people getting hurt on it. However, after I talked with a friend who had enjoyed the thrill of SlowFlex three times with no concerning injuries herself (except, perhaps a bruise or two), he gave me his blessing and she and I made plans to meet and tube this past Wednesday.
Excited or Nervous? What Do You Think?
Plans were made! Was I stoked and ready for an adrenaline rush?! No, I was nervous. Cue the typical “have to approach every new situation with butterflies in my stomach” Heather preparation program. Can I ever just be excited without being nervous? Maybe not. But, I am becoming more comfortable with this part of myself. Maybe some nerves once in a while is a positive thing? What if I hurt myself? What if I break something? What if something terrible happens? What if? What if? What if? (If you’ve been reading, you know the drill – this is my typical thought process before trying something outside of my comfort zone.)
As this year has gone on, I have come to the conclusion that I will probably always be a little bit leery of change and variety; but, I finally think it is okay to be this way. I really do. As long as I am not staunchly against stepping into the unknown, I can be cautious of it without being a stick in the mud. This is just who I am and that is okay. I can be an Experiencer who still likes to stick her toe in the water before jumping in headfirst!
Ready or Not, Here I Fly!
The time arrived, I picked up my friend, and we headed to the SnowFlex! (Am I really doing this?!) In retrospect, it is humorous that I was so nervous about it as it turned out to be one of the most amazing experiences I have had this year. It was not super risky; it was not super dangerous; it was just oodles of fun!
After arriving, paying, and signing the waiver, we headed upstairs, grabbed our tubes, and hopped onto the steep moving sidewalk. It took a moment to get our balance just right; but, before long, we were soaring upward and getting quite the workout at the same time!
We went down the shorter slide first – in part because one of the attendants told us that the longer one might cause motion sickness. ~frown~ In true follower fashion, I insisted my friend go first. ~smile~ There is nothing wrong with observing someone else first! She seemed to have a blast; so, I sat down, held on tight, and waited for the sweet college girl attendant to push me down the hill.
Down I went… faster… and faster… and faster! The wind in my face and beautiful mountains in the distance (admittedly, I was mainly staring at the terrain as I flew downward!). Am I okay? I think I am okay! I do not feel sick! Wow, that was awfully fun! I think I want to do that again! This might be the coolest thing I have done this year! Up the moving sidewalk we went again and again. During our third run, we decided to go down the bigger slide. I was not 100% sure of the idea as I had no interest in flinging myself over the nearest trashcan, but armed with my sea bands, I decided to take the risk!
It. Was. Awesome.
Sure, there was some twisting and turning, but nothing I could not handle. From that point on, I was unstoppable! I felt like a giddy five-year-old screaming “Again! Again!” Take it from me – evening in the Fall is the BEST time to go! The cool breeze in my face was spectacular! (And, may have kept me from feeling nauseated.)
We paid for an hour, but since we were literally the only two people tubing, we practically got the run of the place! Eight runs in one hour! During the weekend and busier times of year, it would be unrealistic to expect eight rides in an hour. So, I am glad we picked a random weeknight at dusk. I will remember that for next time! Lord willing, there will be a next time! I absolutely loved it.
(Now, if I could ride an elephant and go tubing once a month, I think I would be a happy girl!)
Close to Home
Which attractions are so “close to home” you do not even think to explore them? SnowFlex is so embedded into our town now that I take it for granted! Write a list of five to ten activities you can do in your town, even if they seem touristy and ridiculous. You may find an absolutely breath-taking experience right under your nose. And, for those experiences that are not so great, hopefully you will at least get a funny story out of them. ~smile~
When was the last time you flew down the side of a mountain with your sweetheart?