Zip Lining and the Rewards of Risk

Lou in zip line safety rig

Last summer I helped facilitate a Leadership Retreat at the Blowing Rock Conference Center in North Carolina.

Below the Center in a small valley there stands a structure that resembles a pirate ship. As you make your way to a clearing in that valley and round a bend of trees, the structure rises up before you with three tiers of challenge.

For several hours I watched 50 people risk their way to the top and exit by a giant swing and a zip line that sends you soaring through the trees.  It was amazing theatre.

The gift of taking risks: transformation

The gift of risk-taking doesn’t lie in what you achieve by risking, it lies in who you become as a result of the process. People were transformed by risk that day. By nightfall they were more confident, engaged and alive.

Risk isn’t something you do once in a while, it’s an approach to life to be open, exploratory, and daring. You know it when you let it slip out of your life. You feel slug-like and bored.

Today is new. Re-engage.  Re-risk.

Ask yourself “When in your life did you feel most alive?  What were you doing?”  It’s likely you were taking some risks at the time.

Another question is  “What is the mediocrity you no longer accept?”

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Lou Solomon

Lou Solomon is the founder of Interact. She is a TEDx speaker and a member of the adjunct faculty at the McColl School of Business at Queens University of Charlotte. Her articles have appeared in Harvard Business Review,,, and Fast Company.