The summer before COVID, my wife and I took our kids to Niagara Falls. We had a blast!
My wife found us a nice hotel on the Canadian side, and we saw all of the major attractions. We took a boat ride on the Hornblower (the Canadian version of the Maid of the Mist), we had dinner in the rotating restaurant at the top of the Skylon Tower, we did the Cave of the Winds, the indoor water park and we could even see the light show on the falls from our hotel balcony. It was a fantastic weekend getaway.
I’m an adventure junkie so I saw that there was a zip line that you could ride on the Canadian side which started out at street level and traveled downward to the Niagara River. I love zip lines so of course I made a reservation. Now when I say I’m an adventure junkie, I’ve done all sorts of crazy stuff including jumping out of a perfectly good airplane at 10,000 feet, racing Corvettes around a race track at 130mph+ with racing legend Ron Fellows, hitting a top speed of 48mph skiing down the Ridge at Mount Snow, mountain biking down a volcano in Maui, and yes, zip lining in multiple places. I actually used to tie my own harness with a single rope and then hang upside down, wrapping my ankles around the rope, while zip lining – ask my wife, she’ll shake her head and confirm the story. So, suffice it to say, I like thrills.
So back to the Canadian zip line… We showed up at our reservation time and they handed me a hard hat. Now, I’ve never worn a hard hat before when zip lining. Maybe they do it differently in Canada? No problem, I’m happy to wear whatever they want me to wear. I get it, I’m an insurance agent after all. When I put the hard hat on, it was obviously too small for my head, so I asked for a larger one. The man hit me on the hard hat kind of hard with his hand to push it on tighter and said, “it fits perfect”. It was crooked on my head and barely stayed on, but the man said I was good to go so, who was I to argue with the man?
So, here I am with this ill-fitting, ridiculous, hard hat on my head with carabiners in hand waiting to strap myself onto, what seems to be a pretty tame, zip line and I start wondering about the safety record of this place.
Most of the other things I’ve done, I’ve been in control. In many of my previous zip line adventures, I’ve tied my own harness. When racing cars, I’ve been driving. When skiing, it was all me. In full disclosure, when I jumped out of the plane, I was kind of just along for the ride. I was strapped to a professional who had packed the chute, but I trusted him because he had a vested interest to get me to the ground safely, since he was strapped to my back.
I think it was the hard hat that got me thinking. Why do they want me to wear it? Do they have a history of people hitting their head on things – like the ground?
It was at this moment that my insurance brain went immediately to life insurance first and then disability insurance second. I probably thought of life insurance first because everybody always thinks they’re going to die. Once I realized that if they thought I was going to die, they probably wouldn’t give me the hard hat because it might get damaged and it wouldn’t help anyway. So, then I realized that disability insurance was where my mind should be. What if this tame Canadian zip line malfunctions and I get hurt? It’s a good thing I have disability insurance.
Phew. Just so I don’t keep you in suspense, I had a very uneventful ride to the bottom, and I disembarked the zip line without incident. The hard hat didn’t accomplish anything other than give me a minor headache from squeezing my temples so tightly.
Why did I have you read this rambling story about my uneventful zip line adventure in Canada? It’s because many people probably stood up there with their ill-fitting hard hats, holding their carabiners wondering, when their feet left the platform, if they’d ever walk again. Okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic but you get the idea. These are moments when people question their mortality. What if something did happen? What would happen if you became a financial burden on your family because of a disability or a premature death?
Life insurance and disability insurance are two inexpensive policies that everyone should consider.
If you’d like more information about life and disability insurance or if you’d just like to talk about your adventure junkie stories, schedule a conversation with me at www.lofrumentoagency.com/connect or call me at 518-877-7447. Hang loose my friends.
John Lofrumento, CFP®, FSCP®, RICP®
President, The Lofrumento Agency