It was in 2016 when I first heard about the XDubai, a group that advocated extreme sports and stunts in Dubai. It was the kind of thing I had always wanted to get into: jump off skyscrapers, ride BMX bike up and down the crazy routes, and ultimately skydive! On my recent trip to Dubai, the Xline caught my eye, and it turns out that this zipline is the world’s longest urban zipline.
I finally paid for my ticket (it cost me a whopping And 650/ $177) and showed up at the Dubai Marina Mall. There were about 10 other people, and either you could Go Solo or do the Double. Since I was on my own, I was paired up with another guest who was going solo. The excitement and the nervousness had begun to set in when they weighed me in– if you are over 100kgs, you cannot do the stunt.
The took us to the building in their minivan. At this point, you are absolutely forbidden to take any recording devices with you. I wish I had my cell phone to capture the anticipation that was getting to all of us. Once we got to Al Amwaj building, we took the elevator to the 44th floor, from where we had to climb another four floors up.
So we were standing on the 48th floor, which makes it 170 meters above ground. There air up here was so different from down below. I could almost feel my legs giving away, as if I were standing on a shaky ground. The views from up here were no doubt gorgeous and something I mentally registered. However, my mind was focused on the ground below– I am literally standing 48 floors high!!
I chickened away from being the first one to go, so another group went first. I was second in line. They asked me to move forward to the main prep area, where they suited me up with a padded jacket and wrapped up all the straps behind me.
A guy was there with a camera who recorded what I was feeling at this point. I didn’t have any words but was just wondering to myself why the hell I signed up for this. What if I fall? What if I die? What if I fall and break and my body and don’t die and suffer the pain? I shared my concerns with the guy and he laughed it off and told me how super safe their equipments are. I had no choice to back out and so mentally prepared myself for this task.
Finally, I was strapped in, with my helmet and go pro camera attached. I was asked to lie down on one of those stretcher bed you see at the hospitals. I ay down on my chest while they strapped the zipline behind my back. I had no idea what was going on, as all I could see was the marina in front of me. Shit! I am about go down this zipline for an entire minute.
All I could tell myself at this point was how I need to conquer my fears. I need to do this. If I can do this, I can do everything. Everything I need is on the other side of fear. I need to tackle this fear, this unknown. I need to push myself. I need to defy my limits. I am a free spirited person, who refuses to stay put in a box. I need to feel this freedom. I need to scream all the way down!
“Are you ready??!!” screamed the guy. “NO!” I screamed back! He laughed some more. “Don’t worry! You will love it” he shouted back at me. The stretcher bed was lowered and now I was literally hanging from the rope line. I was still thinking about what if I fall. In a matter of few seconds, I changed my mindset– come on Mansour, this is an experience of a lifetime! you are about to zipline over the marina. take in this moment. enjoy this moment. it’s about conquering your fears.
Ready, set go! My heart was literally pumping out my chest. I was instructed to hold my arms in till I cross over the edge of the building. My breathing had become heavy. I didn’t even discuss with anyone who will get what when I die. I felt like as if my own body was leaving my physical body. I felt lighter already.
The second I was released, I flung forwards, as if someone pushed me from the edge of the building. My screaming had begun. I could see the parapet of the building, and then the roads down below. Shit. That’s so far down. I could see cars and tiny little people. But I was also flying fast forwards. The air blowing into my face was strong and I could feel my speed increasing. I am supposed to go from 0 to 60km in 2.5 seconds.
The sensation of flying overtook my feeling of being scared. I was literally flying in the air. I felt so free, as if I were flying away from the world. The feelings turned rather quickly from fear into feeling so free and blissful. It was quiet up here too. A few seconds later, I spread my arms across and I was literally flying.
The entire experience last about a minute, and I cannot tell you what an experience it is. Flying over Dubai Marina, watching the water, the yachts, the people down below from up above was an incredible moment to register. It brought my entire life into perspective. Everything seems so petty and little– I was looking at the bigger picture on my life. I was realising how I needed to stay focused on he bigger picture and avoid the petty things. Yes, all of this happened in a matter of seconds.
I finally landed, and all I could feel was super accomplished. I conquered my fear. I wish I could have done it again. It’s incredible to be able to experience such stunts. It’s amazing to see how far one can push their bodies, mentally and physically. Overcoming fear is one of the biggest hurdle we all face in our daily lives, and just by overcoming our fears can push into directions we never knew we could go to.
I for one know I am a completely different person with a renewed perspective on life. All because I was able to conquer my fears.