Last week, Cohort 9 of the CSU Stanislaus EMBA program took a trip to Fresno State to complete a ropes course. Initially, I couldn’t figure out why were there…but it quickly became apparent that we had to rely on one another to complete the obstacles and as a result, we gained trust with one another and had an opportunity to become close, very quickly. Before I knew it, we were blindfolded and trusting our teammates to guide us to complete a puzzle; hanging off of one another to overcome the cable-walk challenge; and challenging our own fears to take on the high obstacles. It was a very fun day – but I didn’t think it was possible to take a very diverse group of people and allow them to be so comfortable and vulnerable with people they barely knew, in just a few hours.
I am not one to take risks myself; I don’t do roller coasters or other adrenaline based activities. But, my goal for the day was to walk away without regrets and I knew if I did not push myself to just try a high-element challenge, I would be disappointed. So, I began my climb up the telephone pole; I felt my body shaking the whole time. I trusted the equipment, I just wasn’t sure if I could psychically convince myself to complete the task. So it got up to the top, and once you’ve made it this far, the hardest part is to turn around and face the task in front of you (for me it was to walk across another telephone pole about 50 feet in the air). I was clenching the pole I had just come like a bear hug, I took a deep breath and opened my eyes, and there was a sign stapled to the pole, it read, “Does your mother know where you are right now?” I laughed at the thought that she had no clue that I was doing such a crazy thing, but it was enough to relax me and get me to move on and I completed the obstacle (PHEW!). Thanks, Mom!