Zorbing!

Zorbing, what is it? I figured we’d probably need to go over the basics first before we get to the experience because I’ve found that most people don’t even know what this is. New Zealand birthed this extreme sport in the mid 1990’s. I could say it more eloquently or technically, but you pretty much jump in a giant rubber ball and roll down a hill. Gaining momentum worldwide, it has yet to establish its grasp on the US. Pigeon Forge, Tennessee is the only location in the States that you can zorb. Thursday the idea popped in my head to go do it and I jokingly told my brother we should go. Well it threw me a bit when he called me out Friday that we should actually go. So naturally I have to agree and embrace my new philosophy of embracing life and saying yes. Without a second thought we drag ourselves to the van at 3 am and drive the over 8 hours to Tennessee. We get there around noon, not completely sure of what we have in store (although I find I prefer not to have expectations, but just enjoy the experience for what it is). Upon entering we learn our options: we can go either solo or as a party, the ball can be wet or dry (the dry option you’re strapped in spinning head over heels). We all decide we’d just stick with the wet as we came prepared in swimsuits (although without towels-so I definitely would recommend towels). Ready to go as the clouds grow progressively darker and storms threaten to let loose any moment. We climb into the crappy van with plastic covered seats, as we entrust our Aussie-accented (yet extremely cute) driver to get us to the top. Little did we know how tumultuous the ride would be. We hit bump afer bump, flailing around the backseat, our heads bouncing off the ceiling, Angelica giggling incessantly the whole way. Hell if this was the ride to the top, what were we in store for on the way down?! We’re forced to stay in the van as we wait on a group to go. Finally me and Angelica are up to go. The moment we walk out the door- BOOM- lightening and we’re sent back packing into the van and the bottom of the hill to wait it out. Eventually the store provides a gap, so that we get our opportunity. After approaching the top, we’re the first one’s up and they instruct us to dive in- actually to run and dive (which actually before would have seemed daunting, as I would previously been ‘afraid’ of the tight space). Here I lost a little spiritually and my ego got in my way, as I think “Run, sure”. Needless to say my trot and attempted dive led me with my butt hanging out and I have to push myself in completely, waiting for Angelica to join me. Once she too makes a not-so-great attempt at entering we’re left nervously giggling wading in the water waiting for the rolling to begin. The gate opens and we’re off, gaining momentum as we. Instantly I find myself flipped backwards holding Angelica up so that she does not squish me! We toss around and find that bathing suit bottoms probably were not the best idea (another note besides towels is bathing suit shorts not bikini bottoms). The ride is bumpy and we laugh the whole way down until we reach the bottom and face each other with an agreed WOW! Instantly we feel like celebrities as the staff ‘paparazzi’ come to snap our photos. They spin us over and instruct us to slide out. Although better than my entry, the exit was not my most graceful moments (as the pictures clearly demonstrate). Next we pose for our photo outside, and they tell us to do a back flip, which I don’t quite grasp so needless to say I remain grounded as the Aussie and Angelica leap into the air. Left in awe, we wait and watch Mario and Cliff make their solo journeys down the hill, so we can all gather excitedly and discuss how cool the experience was. Pretty much like a really cool water park ride. I would have done it all day if the weather had been promoting. The lesson of zorbing is similar to skydiving- to get over the fear and take the leap (or roll in this instance). Embrace life and live in the moment and you’ll be less stressed and healthier, as cortisol and stress take a toll on the body and breed disease and distress. Relax and let loose, roll down a hill in a giant hamster ball. For more on our health programs check out bodychange.net and if you’re interested in zorbing check out zorb.com (the site alone had me hooked, as I loved their laid back and nonchalant attitude).

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