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901 Photography: A Day in the Life of a Zipline Instructor

This story follows the little known, but interesting, case of what a typical day in the life of a zipline instructor entails. The photo story was aimed at portraying the beauty and joy of working in nature, while also serving as a motivator for the Memphians to make the most out of the fun-filled adventure park that lies right at Memphis' front door.

Photo 1: Go Ape Zipline and Adventure Park course instructor Marley Fabijanić zips mid-air on the park's highest zipline on Sunday, October 17, 2021. Go Ape Adventure Park in Memphis, Tennessee is one of 14 Go Ape locations in the U.S.

Photo 2: Obstacles hang at the park on a sunny afternoon. The adventure park is located in Shelby Farms, one of the largest urban parks in the nation.

Photo 3: Marley walks across one of the park’s tree-to-tree crossings on her way to lead the last group of the day through the course. Marley is one of 15 course instructors working at the Go Ape adventure park in Memphis.

Photo 4: Course participants clip their harnesses onto the trolley after listening to the instructor’s briefing. “Your safety is our main priority at the park,” Marley said, which is why each participant at Go Ape goes through a safety briefing before they embark on their zipline adventure.

Photo 5: Marley continues the briefing by demonstrating how to safely cross the zipline. Participants paid close attention, eager to try it out themselves.

Photo 6: Once all safety protocols have been covered and participants are ready to go, Marley checks in with the base to announce that the briefing is complete. All park activities are logged and shared with the team in real time to ensure a streamlined experience for both customers and employees.

Photo 7: Marley clips her harness and makes her way to site 4, where she will monitor participants’ progress and tend to anybody in need of assistance. While doing so, she follows all safety protocols previously shared with the group.

Photo 8: She crosses the same obstacles as the participants to get to site 4. “One of my favorite parts of the job is that every shift is also a workout,” she explained.

Photo 9: After crossing the obstacles and reaching the platform at site 4, Marley notices a 'lightweight' approaching the zipline across the lake. “We call kids lightweights because their pull of gravity is lower than adults’,” she said.

Photo 10: After ensuring the landing at the end of the zipline is clear, the young boy zips across the lake, laughing. The adventure park is suitable for children and is a popular activity for all family members.

Photo 11: Marley watches him approach and stands by to ensure he reaches the landing. Though all children must be accompanied by a guardian, instructors still pay close attention to them to ensure their safety.

Photo 12: As the day comes to a close, Marley watches the last course participants reach their final landing. “Every day working here is a day spent in nature - that’s what makes this job so rewarding,” she said as she watched the sun setting above the lake.

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