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Treetop Flyers

Sixty-five feet off the ground, your toes peek over the edge of a wooden platform while your friends jostle around behind you and laugh in excited nervousness. There is a helmet fastened to your melon, and not one, but two safety lines anchoring you securely to the thick wires bound to the tree in which [...]
Jeni Ruisch

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Sixty-five feet off the ground, your toes peek over the edge of a wooden platform while your friends jostle around behind you and laugh in excited nervousness. There is a helmet fastened to your melon, and not one, but two safety lines anchoring you securely to the thick wires bound to the tree in which you are all perched.

But that doesn’t stop a deep lobe of your brain from sending your stomach into backflips as you near the edge of the platform and peer down.

You keep one hand on the tree. This won’t keep you from falling, but the tree is connected to the ground… somewhere down there. And for now, that feels safe.

A guide clips you onto a thick wire by your own personal pulley, which you have been carrying around on your full torso harness.

“You’ll go faster if you yell cannonball on the way,” he smiles.

You let go of the rough bark of the tree, put your hands on your safety line, and push off from your perch, into thin air.

This is adventure in the wilderness—but just a stone’s throw from a Bob Evans.

ZipZone Outdoor Adventures seems a world away from the hustle and noise of the city streets, but the proof of its proximity is right there in its address. A woodland adventure with no buildings or traffic noise to speak of, it sits right on High Street/Route 23, just north of the city.

Canopy tours take you up into the treetops, high above the ravines and creeks below. You can slide along cables with the help of a pulley, zipping between platforms attached securely to trees. With the recent addition of their new treetop Adventure Park, people of all ages can climb through hand crafted obstacle courses at varying heights. Through hoops and loops, over hurdles and up netted walls, they start at a kid-friendly low difficulty, only a few feet from the ground. (The perfect height for a parent to walk alongside.) And they progress up to adults-only, black diamond difficulty, taking you up to a soaring height, and requiring a workout-level intensity. All the while, you’re connected safely to a continuous belay cable system

Owners Lori and Jerrod Pingle opened the obstacle course—the first of its kind in Ohio—in August. The pair spent time in Hawaii constructing zipline setups, and decided to bring it on home when they opened their own course.

Lori hails from Worthington, and is no stranger to this oasis north of the city.

“I went to a camp here on this property in the ’80s and ’90s. The ropes course really freaked me out and I basically couldn’t do it. I was really sad that something knocked me down like that. So every year when I came back, I did a little bit more and a little bit more—until I was doing the whole course blindfolded and facing every challenge, even though I was really scared and I’m afraid of heights. It really showed me how this kind of thing can teach you about life. Even though you’re scared, you can still do it if you have the right support system. There were so many lessons I learned. I feel like I can do anything if I make the right choices and move through that obstacle.”

The philosophy behind the struggle to complete the course, and keep moving through fear lends itself to the work done at Camp Mary Orton and the Godman Guild, which ZipZone partners with. The park itself sits on 20 acres of land situated on 167 acres owned by Camp Mary Orton. Pingle leases the area occupied by the adventure park.

“We’re a for-profit business that works with the camp, which is a total win-win. What we pay them goes to helping kids get GEDs, helping adults get jobs, helping to continue people’s education so that they graduate from high school. So it’s really incredible what we get to help with because we’re on their property. Also, they get a more consistent form of revenue. They don’t get any money from the government. They don’t have trusts or anything. [Each year] they have to make sure they get enough money for next year to continue operating. So any money they get through this, and other revenue based programs they do goes to their non-profit work. So us being here is a way for them to have a more secure future, which is so cool.”

By Jerrod Pingle

Nuts and Bolts:

Some brass tacks info on ziplining (from the course’s designer, Lori)

“[We] use this amazing technology called tweezles. You can only lock to a cable that has a tweezle, and once you lock onto a course, there’s no way to unlock until you reach the end. We have these amazing lowering kits to get you off the course if you don’t want to keep going. But the key thing is that you’re always hooked in, so it’s a continuous belay system. There isn’t a mistake a guest can make that will get them unclipped from the course.”

The courses are constructed carefully, with the health of the trees in mind: “We have two different construction technologies happening here. Some of them have bolts that go through the tree, some of them have wires that are wrapped around. It’s just two different applications, depending on the type of tree and some other things.”

In order to drill through the tree in some instances, a special auger is used that allows no oxygen inside the body of the tree.

The weight limit for the zipline tour is 270 pounds. This isn’t based on what the cable can hold, as these beastly wires can support literal tons of weight. The limit is due to the amount of speed that will be built up when traveling along the cable. More weight = more force in the landing zone.

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Health & Fitness

Medical marijuana arrives in Columbus next week

Mike Thomas

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Got your card? Terrasana – central Ohio’s first dispensary for medical marijuana – will open to patients in Ohio’s medical marijuana program this Tuesday, March 26th.

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The dispensary which also has plans for locations in Cleveland, Fremont, and Springfield Ohio will open at 656 Grandview Avenue.

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According to the company’s website, Terrasana’s goal is to connect high quality cannabis to patients in need with a doctor-driven approach focused on education.

Prices for the dispensary’s products start at 40 dollars per unit, though it’s unclear what that equates to in quantity or dose at this time.

Will you line up to be a day-one patient in Columbus’ growing MMJ scene? Let us know your thoughts in the comments

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Health & Fitness

Float, flow, and stretch toward a healthier you

614now

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**Comment on this post for a chance to win a free 60 minute float from Ebb and Float**

Being the best possible you is about more than just eating healthy and working out. It’s about mind, body, and spiritual fitness as well. Fortunately the city is home to a bevy of experts, practitioners, and spas to help you find your bliss and be the best possible you.

1. Tune Everything Out

Floatation therapy uses a pool of approximately 10 inches of heavily infused epsom salt water as a form of pseudo sensory deprivation to help you achieve complete peacefulness. The idea is to use floating to achieve the same state of mind as right before you fall asleep at night where your mind is at ease and your body has fully relaxed. You’re encouraged to focus on your breathing and meditate. For a fully immersive experience, float tanks can be encapsulated. Drifting away in an hour-long session, users have reported feeling calmer, getting a better night’s sleep, and feeling more in tune with their mind and body.

Check out: Ebb & Float, ebbfloat.com  |  True Rest Float Spa, truerest.com

2. Manage Pain

Acupuncture is a form of Chinese medicine in which sterile needles are placed on “meridians,” or lines of energy running along the body which correspond to organ systems. Acupuncture is used to treat a variety of conditions and provide pain relief, possibly by competing with pain signals to the brain. Cupping can be used as a complementary therapy to acupuncture and offers some effects of deep tissue massages by placing glass cups (often on the back) to create suction and increase blood flow, augmenting other benefits of acupressure practices. 

Check out: Urban Acupuncture Center, urbanacupuncturecenter.org |12 Meridians Acupuncture, 12meridiansacupuncture.com

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3. Release Tension, Stretch, and Increase Flexibility

Thai yoga, also referred to as Thai body work, is not your traditional take on massages. Instead of lying still while a massage therapist works on your body, Thai yoga has specialists that move, stretch, and position your body in a multitude of positions to best help your troubled areas, which could be great for people who struggle with lower back pain or stress-caused conditions. The theory behind Thai yoga goes back to Ayurveda medicine, developed in India, where the practice was based on a balance of mind, body, and spirit through energies in the body. Thai yoga hopes to channel these energies through massage, compression, and stretching and allow them to flow more freely. The practice features various techniques dependent on how your body is feeling that day; this could mean the use of oils, or the use of voice with mantras. Beyond a more well-stretched and massaged feeling afterwards, many users said they feel rejuvenated mentally and spiritually. 

Check out: Jai Center For Wellness, jaicenterforwellness.com |Reden Yoga, redenyoga.com

4. Breathe Better

Halotherapy is the therapeutic use of a room lined from ceiling to floor in large crystal salt to simulate the cool but dry atmosphere of a natural salt cave. A device (appropriately named the halogenerator) smashes salt into microscopic pieces, allowing them to be released in the air through ventilation systems. In 45-minute sessions, users can relax and breathe in the salty air, which has been claimed to potentially alleviate breathing issues such as asthma or allergies. Additionally, the calm, quiet, and dark rooms are perfect for a moment of mediation. The salt has been also said to help with skin bacteria and impurities, similar to popular mud masks made with minerals from the Dead Sea.

Check out: Tranquility Salt Cave, tranquilitysaltcave.com |Philosophi Salon and Salt Spa, philosophisalon.com

Leave a comment on this post for a chance at a free 60 minute float from Ebb and Float. Good luck!

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Health & Fitness

Refresh Resolution: 14 cheap, free ways to fulfill your health goals

Kelsey Lawrence

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Getting in shape is one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions. Plus, after all that holiday binging, your body is begging for some tlc.

Getting in shape can be expensive but it doesn’t have to be! Below is a list of 14 ways to have a healthy New Year.

Planet Fitness

Multiple locations

$1 down, $10 a month, no commitment, now through January 15.
As a member, you’ll have access to a full workout facility 24/7, over 50 group training sessions per week, and Free Pizza Mondays (because you can’t be good all the time).

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Crushing it Columbus

333 W Broad St., Columbus

No fancy equipment, no professional facility, just a good old-fashioned workout. Crushing it Columbus meets every Wednesday at 6:15am on the stairs of COSI to sweat it out.
Everyone is welcomed, no matter the experience level.

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Queer Yoga

535 E Whittier St., Columbus

Looking to get fit in a safe(r) space? Queer Yoga offers $6 yoga classes every Tuesday. Yoga mats are encouraged and all are welcome.

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Winter Hike

Multiple locations

Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks are offering several winter hiking events throughout the season. Three Creeks, Scioto Audubon, and Prairie Oaks are just a few of the participating parks. Some of them are pet friendly too!

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Lululemon

Multiple locations

Work off that Sunday brunch with free yoga at Lululemon’s Easton and Polaris locations. All experience levels welcome!

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Cap City Salsa

566 W Rich St., Columbus

Dance those pounds away with a four week salsa course hosted by Cap City Salsa. For $12 per session, you’ll learn some salsa basics for beginners!

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Get Connected

3535 Olentangy River Rd, Columbus

Supplement your workout with healthy thought processes. Ohio Health is offering a free six week course focusing on the topics of chronic illness, healthy eating and mental wellness.

This women’s health class runs Jan 28- Mar 4th and registration is required.

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The Fitness Loft

625 Parsons Ave., Columbus

The fitness loft offers a variety of classes from cycling to zumba to boxing. They’re currently offering a Groupon special, plus one-year memberships for 20 percent off and six-month memberships for 10 percent off for new and current members.

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Kinetic Climbing & Fitness

717 Hadley Dr., Columbus

Switch up your workout and have an adventure at Kinetic. Grab a climbing buddy or collect a whole group to save big on Groupon.

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Ice Skating

Multiple locations

Break a cool sweat at one of Columbus’ ice rinks. Head to one of Ohio Health’s Chiller Ice Rinks, where public skating is available throughout the week for under $10. They also offer Friday Night Meltdown, a public skating event with a DJ.

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Nutrition 101

3969 Trueman Blvd., Hilliard

They say that abs are made in the kitchen, so learn how to properly fuel your body with Dr Kevin Sarich and Ali Cooper as they lead free health classes on how to lose weight with healthy eating. Reservations required.

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Babes HIIT

Multiple locations

Babes HIIT Columbus offers several cheap and free monthly fitness events at numerous locations in the area. They offer free winter hikes, champagne and yoga, Fitt camp and so much more.

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Yoga On High

1020 Dennison Ave. Suite 202, Columbus

Yoga on high offers free (donation based) ABC inclusive yoga classes every Saturday from 2-3pm. Each week features a different teacher and style of yoga so you’ll never get bored! Registration is required and accessible through their website.

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Crossfit Clintonville

609 Oakland Park Ave., Columbus

Interested in Crossfit? This Clintonville gym offers free community classes every Saturday at 10am. This three class trials gives you the opportunity to dip your toes into the pool of crossfit. No registration is necessary, just show up!

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