Being a parent to young kids is no joke. There’s a lot on our plates; busy schedules, sleepless nights, and the responsibility to keep those little ones well fed, stimulated, learning, happy and just alive!
One important part of parenting as a couple is also keeping the spark alive, something that is often a lot easier said than done.
But science is here to help. Studies show there’s one big thing couples can do to stay happy and sane while dealing with it all. So what’s the secret?
Get a sitter and try something new together!
Several scientific studies have shown that novelty — simply doing new things together as a couple — recreates the chemical surges of early courtship. That’s right, while regular date night is a good start, dinner and movie on repeat just don’t quite cut it.
Why? Because new experiences activate the brain’s reward system, flooding it with dopamine and norepinephrine. These are the same brain circuits that are ignited in early romantic love, a time of exhilaration and obsessive thoughts about a new partner.
After reading about this phenomenon, I decided to put the theory into action when the opportunity arose recently.
First a little backstory… Last year, my husband started entering in Spartan races around the west coast with a buddy. (For those of you that aren’t familiar, think crazy boot camp style obstacle courses for adults that stretch on for miles and miles with lots of running, climbing, and crawling through the mud.) And recently he signed up for a race in Vegas.
I know where you think this is probably going. So let me just head you off right there- no, I did not suit up and get down in the mud with him. I love my husband, but let’s not get crazy!
While I didn’t sign up for the race, I did sign on to go with him on a long couples’ weekend with his racing partner and his wife.
I was excited about the getaway and looking forward to the world class shows and restaurants in Vegas for sure. But this also felt like the ideal time to dive in and try something new together.
After a little research, I found just the thing- Ziplining down the Red Mountains and over the Mojave Dessert!
You guys, we had so much fun!!
The folks at FlightLinez graciously offered our group a free trip and took such great care of us that even those of us that had a fear of heights had a total blast. If you’re not familiar with ziplining, think parasailing but a lot faster (some parts go up to 60+ miles per hour).
First things first, we started our day inside with a tutorial. The thing I really liked about ziplining was that it was super easy to do (basically lounging in a comfy chair while zooming over some gorgeous scenery) but I also still had control.
That’s because you’re in control of the breaks- those red cords hanging above her head in the picture above.
After a quick training session, it was time to head to the mountains. We all took a bus and the crew leading our expedition was a lot of fun. Full of jokes and tidbits to keep the ride interesting.
The description of the trip said it included a “moderate hike” so I was nervous about that part but it was truly no sweat. Just a short hike in the hills on a warm day with friends. Because of my back issues, the crew even graciously carried my gear for me… And I wasn’t the only one, they were so above and beyond in making sure that everyone was comfortable and having a great time.
Between the four runs, we covered over 8,000 feet (1.5 miles) down the Red Mountains in Boulder City, NV.
Here are our friends getting ready for our first run. This is the part where none of us really knew what to expect yet and were prepping ourselves for whatever came next.
Basically, you walk up the trails with your chair already strapped to you, and when it’s time to go, they hook you in. Again, the crew was super friendly and professional so we all felt like we were in really good hands.
Here’s what taking off looked like…
…and landing. Pretty cool, right?! (By the way, the women in this video was a grandmother and totally loving every minute of this.)
Altogether, we spent about 3 hours together in this incredibly gorgeous setting and we all agreed it was one of the biggest highlights of our trip.
I was so proud of us for going outside our comfort zones and trying something new and I highly recommend adding FlightLinez to any Vegas trip you have planned in the future!
P.S. In case you’re worried about dealing with any physical issues like me, don’t be! These guys were so, so great about my bad back. They altered all of my runs to make sure I came in slow and steady. There was absolutely no jolting, just lots and lots of fun.