I live for adventure. If I could wake up every day and jump out of a plane or off of a building or climb a mountain, it would be my idea of Utopia. One of the most rewarding things about moving to a new location is finding great adventures in the area. Last weekend, we tested our aerial course limits at Voiles en Voiles and it was my favorite family adventure yet. Voiles en Voiles is a family adventure park offering aerial courses, climbing, and many other outdoor activities in the world of pirate ships located in the Old Port of Montreal. I planned a family day and anticipated doing a few of the simple courses with Athena and continuing on to the more difficult courses myself, but how I planned the day and how it actually happened was drastically different. The whole experience left me mouth-agape, amazed, and inspired.
We arrived at 10 am and planned the 4 hour Great Adventure. It gave us access to every aerial course for up to 4 hours. It allowed us the freedom to enjoy the whole park without being pressed for time. I thought we’d try an aerial course or maybe two, grab lunch, and return for another hour or so.
The first aerial course recommended to us was 13 feet high and started on the deck of the pirate ship. I was amazed that Athena followed me without hesitation. She climbed on the first plank behind me and it rocked back and forth. She asked me what would happen if she slipped off so I said, “Go ahead.” Grabbing her rope, she looked down and let her feet slide off the plank. She hung there, suspended in the air and I could see the relief on her face. I asked if she could get back on the plank and she did without issue. Once she knew that she could slip off any time and not get hurt, her step quickened and she became fearless. When she reached a gap that was too large for her little legs, I reached for her hand and helped her along. We have a rule that good adventurers help each other along the way so she didn’t feel ashamed or scared to ask for my hand. I was bursting with pride when we completed the first aerial course.
The next option at the same height was a zipline. Athena had never tried a zipline before and I enthusiastically asked if she wanted to give it a try. Inside, I was petrified for her. Admittedly, I thought she’d back out when she stepped on the platform, but she jumped off and screamed with excitement.
People watched from below and I could see children pointing up at her as she zipped through the sky with a smile on her face. I gave her a hug and a high five when she reached the other side. She is far braver than I ever dared to be at that age.
She had already surpassed all of my expectations so we moved on to one of the aerial courses at 24 feet and eventually one at 35 feet high.
There was only one course we felt was too difficult for Athena. A Double Black Diamond aerial course with a 35 foot high sliding skateboard, rope ladders, and narrow, swinging planks awaited and I was so inspired by Athena’s courage that I decided to give it a try.
It took me about 25 minutes to complete the course. Hands shaking and exhausted, I reached the end to see her smiling face looking up at me. She said, “You did it, Mommy. I’m so proud of you.” I had so many reasons to feel pride at that moment. We just participated in a great adventure, surpassed our expectations, and encouraged each other every step of the way.
Gosh, life is good.