Let me apologize in advance for the post title. I didn’t sleep last night as I was trying to drop my roommate off at the airport only to hear that a volcano erupted in Chile and as a result all the domestic flights in Argentina were canceled. The same thing happened to me last week. (Same volcano, different eruption) As an upside, the sunset was beautiful tonight due to an ash filled sky.
As a downside, my sense of humor is less ripe than normal and there are thousands of people who were trying to attend the Copa America who are now stranded.
But I digress. This post is supposed to be about something far more logical, Zorbing. Zorbing is the sport of putting yourself in a giant water-filled hamster ball and being pushed down a big grass hill. As far as I can tell there is only two places on earth where you can do this. One is in the middle of the United States (lame…) and the other is in the middle of New Zealand (opposite of lame!) I got the chance to do this in the latter.
I originally heard about this sport on a Travel Channel show called Extreme Adrenaline Rushes. I had actually been working on this bucket list item for a couple years but could never find a way to make it to New Zealand. As it turns out, the island is in the middle of no where. The only thing it is close to is a much bigger island some people like to call Australia. (I am one of those people)
Luckily for me, I was invited to come speak at SMX Sydney and the company I used to work for was willing to foot the airplane ticket. (Thanks Uncle Rand!). After leaving Sydney (a topic for another post), I landed in Auckland in time to catch a smaller plane that was going to Rotorua. Once in Rotorua, I quickly checked into my hotel and made my way to the Zorbing site.
The Zorbing site consisted of a giant carved out grass hill and a group of very excited Kiwis. I changed into my swim suit (cue Baywatch music) and got into the back of a crazy 4WD jeep. The jeep bounced and shimmied its way up the hill until finally dumping me out at the top. The nice staff member unzipped a small door and asked me to dive head first into the Zorb. Perplexed, I obeyed. Inside the Zorb was a few gallons of warm water and now a confused blogger. The staff member poured more water into my spherical prison, zipped the door shut and yelled something at me. From inside my echo chamber I got the impression they wanted me to move in the direction of down hill. A couple big pushes later and I was off.
At first I was worried, I had zero control over the ball and there was water flying and swirling everywhere. It was at that moment when I burst out laughing. This was one of the most fun things I had ever done. It didn’t hurt and I was essentially the safest I had ever been. (I was literally in a giant bubble). After rolling down the hill and through the obstacle course, the Zorb and I came to a slow stop at the bottom. A staff member, unzipped the door and looked in at me with a smile.
I immediately got out and did it again.
In a world increasingly driven by work ethic and efficiency, the rare moments where childhood-like delight are kindled in adults become increasingly paramount.
We have all heard the story of the woman’s life who flashes before her eyes before dying. This scene is generally full of smiling friends and mold-breaking experiences. Here lays the secret to immortality. Cram your life as full of those moments as possible and when your time finally comes to kick the bucket, you will anger the Reaper by having a highlights reel that goes on indefinitely.