CHEROKEE COUNTY — Aeriel Holte stood on a platform 16-feet in the air, hooked to a zip line. With a push she was airborne.
The gears of the zip line ground slightly as she glided 264 feet to the ground.Landing safely, a line of four seniors followed, with ages ranging from 72 to 90.
The Engage Life Director at Atria Copeland said she was showing solidarity by going first.“I can’t encourage them to do something, and then say, ‘no I’m good,’ Mrs. Holte joked.
In celebration of International Active Aging week, the group crossed off the bucket list item of zip lining at Adrenaline Rush Zip Line, at 2371 County Road 1613 in Jacksonville.
“You don’t have to put limitations on yourself because you’re older,” Mrs. Holte said. “People will say, ‘I’m too old for that,’ but that’s not true. You can do what you want.”
Doris Humpress, 86, joked the group talked Mrs. Holte into going first for another reason.“We wanted her to go first and then we got the keys to the car,” she said. “We could escape.”
Mid-air the ladies waived from the ground and the sky and embraced each other as they safely landed.
“We had the chance to stop after one, but we all said, ‘no we will do all five lines,” Lola Binzegger, 90, said. “You had to do the first one, and once you did the second, there was no turning back.”
The experience marked the second new experience for Mrs. Binzegger. In June, the long-time Rangers fan went to her first live game. She also holds the distinction of the oldest person to go through the zip lining course at Adrenaline Rush Zip Line.
“I always say, ‘if you’re able to, you should,’” she said. “It’s just a matter of it you can afford it.”
All in all the ladies cascaded down five of lines, adding up to 1,694 of air suspension, all under the guidance of the attentive Adrenaline Rush Zip Line crew.
“The longest one got a little breezy,” Mrs. Humpress said. “I thought it was going to take my hat off.”
Keri McGehee, assistant manager and head guide, said Atria Copeland was their first senior group to go through the course, but they hoped to see more. She if they can climb up the stairs to the platforms, then they could zip line down.
Monica Bridsong, 74, said she felt a little apprehension, but figured if so many others had done it before, it was safe.
“You’re only as old as you think you are,” she said.
After zipping through the trees, the group ate lunch and snow cones overlooking the scenic and hilly view from the grounds.
“This is a place you like to come back to because it’s nice,” Mrs. Binzegger said.
Mrs. Holte said Atria has more active seniors, but they chickened out.
“I think we will go back and tell all the others who thought it was going to be so bad that it was so much fun,” she said.