Rain or shine, Fort Bragg GI Janes intent on challenging themselves
Helen Hughes, front, and Shannon Simmons, back, negotiate some sand on the bike path during the GI Jane event held at Smith Lake recreation area, Saturday.

FORT BRAGG, N.C. - The Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation GI Jane organizers held to their promise of a challenging, fun event through thick or thin, rain or shine. On Aug. 13, 10 adventure-seeking women participated in FMWR's GI Jane event held at Smith Lake recreation area.

"I'm just looking to challenge myself," said Helen Hughes. "Also, I'm new to Fort Bragg and I thought this would be a great way to meet people."

The search for sisterhood was a common theme for the GI Jane participants. Suzanna Hutin heard about the event through her Family readiness group and thought it would be fun " so much fun that, she invited her friends Shavonne Holden and Miya Humphrey to join her.

"This is a lot of fun," said Hutin. "I'm meeting new people and also getting to see what the FMWR has to offer. Though, we did get a little competitive during the canoeing portion."

The GI Jane event is held at least four times a year and offers different experiences to women who want to embrace nature and challenge their bodies. With a variety of fitness levels ranging from beginner to medium, G.I. Jane participants can enjoy the activities at their own pace or push themselves farther. This event included mountain biking, canoeing and the chance to zip-line at Carver Falls, a local tourist attraction.

Even though it rained off and on as the women participated in their events, they kept a smile on their faces and continued to look forward to the highlight of the event " the zip lining.

"I'm really looking forward to the zip lining," Holden explained. "It's my first time doing it, and (MWR and the zip line company) worked out a great deal," she said.

"I'm going to face my fear today," said Jenny Mallett. "I'm deathly afraid of heights. I'm a very active person, but being suspended in mid air just scares me!"

But Mallett and the rest of the women would have to wait to conquer their fears. Due to severe, afternoon thunderstorms rolling in, the zip line company had to cancel the much-anticipated tour. But not without first compensating the women with a coupon to come back during nicer weather, which four women used almost immediately to come back the following day.

Even though the zip lining adventure was canceled, it didn't stop the quick-thinking FMWR workers from coming up with an alternate event " horseback riding.

"I'm disappointed that I don't get to zip line, but now I'm excited to ride a horse," said Tiffany Lake, who said her husband was jealous because zip lining was part of the GI Jane event.
"Hat's off to (the FMWR) crew for quickly diverting us to the horse stables for a relaxing trail ride," said Diana Wright. "Not the way I expected to end the day, but a great treat."

The next GI Jane event is scheduled for Sept. 10, and will include a canoe float on the Lumbee River to the Cypress Bend Vineyard Harvest Festival and Grape Stomp.

For more information about GI Jane events, check out "FMWR Fort Bragg" on Facebook or at www.fortbraggmwr.com.

Page last updated Fri August 19th, 2011 at 00:00