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I was provided a complimentary visit to Go Ape USA of Plano to facilitate this review. All opinions are 100% mine.
Guys, I’m scared of heights – like REALLY scared of heights! I get shaky and nervous on the top step of our kitchen step-ladder. So when I was offered a chance to visit the New Adventure in Dallas: Go Ape USA that recently opened in Plano, TX, I wasn’t quite sure how I’d like it. I mean, ziplines, rope ladders, Tarzan swings? Might be a little much – but guess what? I absolutely LOVED it, and can’t wait to go back! Here’s why…
Reasons Go Ape USA is a Must-Do Adventure
#1: They’re all about safety
You know they have to take all sorts of safety precautions to stay in business, especially since they’ve got locations all over the world – this is a big company that knows their stuff! At the start they get you harnessed in securely, go over a safety briefing so you understand all of the saftey measures, then give you instruction at a ‘mini course’ to make sure you know how to do things. Staff is around the grounds, available the whole time if you need them – even if it’s just to ask ‘how do I do this one’? Yes, I asked that a few times on some of the crossings!
The Go Ape USA course in Plano has 5 courses. At the start of each, before you go up the rope ladder up into the trees, you’re attached by a device (metal slide-y thing – no, I don’t know the technical term, sorry) to a strong metal rope. This STAYS ATTACHED until you’ve landed off the zipline at the end of each course. Seriously, you land on the ground, walk down the stairs and THEN it can be unattached. It just moves along the course with you, keeping you secured at all times. Major safety – thank goodness!
#2: The Adrenaline Rush is Awesome
The ziplines at the end of each course were AMAZING – flying over a river and through the trees! You get such a rush of excitement, it’s worth any of the hard work to get up there. You can’t help but grin, and sometimes scream, as you go along because it’s such a great feeling.
#3: Sense of Accomplishment
This isn’t JUST a fun adventure – you do have to get through the obstacles that aren’t easy. In fact, some of the courses had a choice of paths – Difficult or Extreme! Yup, no easy here 🙂 Looking at some of the sections it was like ‘uh, there’s no way I can do this’ – but then you DO, and you get this great feeling of accomplishment because YOU DID IT!
I was able to bring my friend Jeni with, then Shannon from Milk and Cuddles and her friend Beth came, too. It was such a fun thing to do together, laughing together as we tackled different obstacles! Jeni and I want to take our hubbies soon on a double date because we know it’d be such a fun activity to do not only with friends, but our awesome other-halves!
#5: Facing Your Fears
Like I said, I was TERRIFIED! The first rope ladder I did I went slow like Flash in Zootopia, pausing at every shaky moment. But guess what? Each course may have become more challenging as far as difficulty went, but I went faster along them and felt more confident. Probably because, by then, I realized I couldn’t fall even if I tried because of the safety equipment, but also because I was trusting my own balance and strength more. I’m one that doesn’t necessarily believe people should have to ‘get over’ their fears – but facing them allowed me to do something super fun and rewarding. I’m so grateful I didn’t let my fear get in the way!
#6: It’s a Fun Workout
I don’t work out regularly, so am definitely not at my best strength right now – but regardless, this is certainly a workout! You’re balancing and working your legs and core, stretching, and using your arms to climb up rope walls. I wasn’t TOO sore afterwards, but definitely a bit like I had a nice workout 😀
- Wear gloves – I had fingerless ones, which I think worked best so I could still grasp. But whichever, you need them to help you grip and save your hands from becoming raw. Just make sure they don’t easily slide off.
- Wear comfortable clothes – You’ll be stretching your legs, arms and whole body pretty far distances, so be sure you can move freely. I had on my workout clothes – definitely recommend a sports bra instead of a regular one – which were capris and a tank. I wish I’d had PANTS, but still the thing material – so something like leggings or workout PANTS would work. My shins got pretty scraped being exposed. The tank top was REALLY nice, allowing my arms and shoulders to move freely.
- Plan on getting dirty – It’s a forest, guys. You’re climbing ropes and ladders, up in the trees, so you’re ognig to get dirty.
- Keep things secure – I took my GoPro (video to come soon – it’s just a LOT of video to go through!) and had it harnessed to my chest so it wouldn’t fall or get in the way of any climbing. Shannon had a secure lanyard for her phone – making sure it wouldn’t fall out.
- You may get wet – It rained the morning we were there, but stopped RIGHT before we started the course. That was nice because the course was cool for most of the time, but it also left us a bit wet because there was still water on the courses.
- Wear Sunscreen – Our day was cloudy, so I didn’t wear any – but by the end of our adventure I was thinking ‘dang, if we were staying any longer I’d get burned’. Even if you’re in mostly shade in the trees, there’s still sun peaking through.
My friend Kim went, too – check out her post!
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