Go Ruth go!

By Charlie | May, 07, 2014
How we can be inspired by Ruth Ziems - the age defying Zip Liner!
By Motivational Speaker and Edgerton Travel group tour host Charlie Adams 

Ruth Ziems is approaching 90 years of age. A few months ago she wrote me and said that for years she has wanted to zip line in Costa Rica. When she learned I was going to host an Edgerton's Travel group trip through there and the Panama Canal she signed up for the trip. She then signed up for a day excursion to zip line when our cruise ship got to Costa Rica!

Ziplining is an adventure thrill ride. It is a gravity-fueled conveyance using cables and pulleys threaded between two points (photo below).

As the trip approached, some of her friends in Michiana asked her if she was worried a cable would snap and she would fall to the ground. "Not a bit," she said. "God decides when my time is up and if it's then, so be it!"

Ironically, a 60 year old man named Mike (on left) on the trip had always thought about zip lining, but was scared of it. When he learned Ruth was going to, he signed up.

When the cruise ship the Celebrity Infinity pulled into Costa Rica, Marty, Mike, Joe, Ruth and I went on the zip lining excursion. A small bus took us and about 35 others from the ship out to the zip lining place. After getting all 'cabled up' and learning the proper zip lining form, we headed for the tree tops. The course ran near a river filled with crocodiles. As you will see in the video down below that I produced, Ruth was positive and calm the entire way. The first time I ever went zip lining (in Juneau, Alaska on a 2006 Edgerton's group trip) I was a nervous wreck as I am scared of heights, but Ruth was cool as a cucumber.

"I have always tried to be positive about everything," she told me.


Ruth soared from tree to tree. I took the picture above of her soaring away! One of the stages was 300 yards of high speed. She put on the cable breaks just right at the end and landed on the tree stand like a bird.  


Near 90, the walking up hills go to her. In a wonderful example of customer service, the guide would sense this and stop for awhile and tell stories about the wildlife of Costa Rica to Ruth. After a few minutes she was ready to go again!  




Accomplishing special things takes team work and Ruth was quick to point out there was no way she could have done this if not for the help of three men from our group that helped her up hills.  



We all need help in life.


I took the picture above after Ruth had gone through all ten stages. Everyone in the group, including guides like the one on the right, marveled at what she just done. One manager told me no one her age had ever made it through all ten stages.  


Ruth was born almost nine decades ago to a farming family. She went to Etna Green School through the 10th grade and graduated from Bourbon High School. She worked for Associates Investment Company for 30 years. Her husband passed away in 2006. While she was married and as a single lady she has traveled all over to places like Japan, France, Switzerland and Point Barrow, Alaska.  


"When we were in Point Barrow it was daylight all the time," she said. "I would see these children out playing at midnight. I asked them when they slept. They said when they got tired!"


Now that she has zip lined, what is her next adventure? Hot air ballooning.


"I'm not doing bungee jumping though," she said matter of factly.   


Me either.  


Among places she wants to go are Vermont, Wyoming and Montana and Australia. She is looking hard at signing up either for the Branson group trip I am hosting in November or possibly the Tournament of Roses Parade trip at the end of the year. Ruth went on a group trip with me to Branson several years ago that I worked with group tour manager Sherrill Lee. All kind of folks go on group trips - married, sisters, mothers and daughters, and single folks like Ruth.   



(Edgerton's group traveler Ruth Ziems and me during the Panama Canal group trip)


While she hopes others can travel like she has, she hopes one place they don't go is Someday Isle.


"Someday I'll train for that first 5K or someday I'll take steps towards achieving this dream or that goal or someday I'll sign up for that course..."


"I think if you want to do something in life then do it!!" Ruth told me. "Don't get to later in life and have regrets!"


A quote by Satchel Paige comes to me when thinking about Ruth - "How old would you be if you didn't know how old you are?"


Also, one by Marv Levy - "Chronological age is only an approximate indicator of functional age."  


Below is the video I produced of Ruth taking on Zip Lining in Costa Rica! Please watch it as it is SO inspiring.  



Approaching 90, Ruth zip lines Costa Rica!
Video produced by Charlie Adams of Ruth zip lining Costa Rica!

I will be writing more soon on what it was like to go through the Panama Canal. I produced a 20 minute video documentary of the experience that I will also share soon.  

Charlie Adams

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