Saturday, February 03, 2007

Rancho Capistrano Part 3 (Gone Fishing)

On day two of training, our first exercise in the morning was "Gone Fishing". We were asked to wear long pants and tennis shoes the evening before so the stage was set for some physical activity. The instructor told us he was here at 6:30 am setting up our exercise. We walked down to the scary-looking climbing tower to see our fate. Up on the pole, a long rope was tied on about 15 feet up. Another robe laid out on the ground in a concentric arc about 15 feet away, delineating the swamp. Various objects were placed inside, three stacking rings, the stacking tree, a Big Bird which topped the stacker, another stuffed bird, a toy horse, and a fish. The goal was to get all the objects out of the swamp and into a bag. The rings and the stacker were stationary, but the animals could move around and of course any bird (including Big Bird) could fly. The stacker had to be stacked with the Big Bird attached. Everyone going in had to be blindfolded. Half of the people could walk in tethered to the rope and the other half had to hang upside-down while the rest of the people pulled the roped to support them. Since people in the class knew by now that I was shutter crazy (too bad I didn't have the camera for the peanut butter river!), I had brought my camera down with us and immediately volunteered to be a hanger.

So my personal experience with hanging (I was the 3rd hanger to go, wanted to observe first) was that it was much harder than I thought. Instead of letting the harness hold my weight, I used my hands and legs to hang on for dear life. It was extremely hard to pull myself up the rope and I had to rest a few times to catch my breath. To make things worse, I bumped my stacking ring away from me so I had to go an extra three feet. I got a rope burn on my ankle and huge bruises along my calves that was inflamed and hurt for days. But heck, it was worth the pictures!

The last exercise of the day was called the Human Knot. It was a quick touchy feely exercise to end the course, as we didn't actually have to touch each other in the swamp. We all stood in a close circle and took the hand of the person across from us. With the other hand, we took the hand of another member. The instructor broke one link and asked us to untangle ourselves into a straight line. After a few twists and hops we untangled ourselves. It was really cool that it actually worked. In the end, I was dying to sign myself up for another course with this consulting group. Perhaps same place and time next year!

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