A few months ago my husband and I went to cash in our Groupon for rock climbing. I'd recently been nagging him that we needed to try new things and here was our 80% off chance to do that. I was excited to find an activity for the two of us at a discounted price! I did a little googling and found some lingo to prepare myself: elvis leg, chicken wing, crampons and gumby. My head was spinning from confusion, but I figured it would all make sense when we got there.

Rock climbing, it turned out, was a fiasco from the beginning. It started when the harness took over fifteen minutes of shimmying and wiggling to fit my husband. He's not a small guy at 6'1 and 280 lbs and has dubbed himself a "plus-size male." I wish we'd brought a camera to capture the employees tugging and pushing to make a harness fit him. I believe at one point my hubby even laid down and did the "suck it in" maneuver. When a harness was finally deemed satisfactory, it gave him an Urkel-esque appearance and I couldn't contain my laughter.

After being given a few minutes of direction on how the clips and ropes worked, we looked at each other and the guide and asked "That's it?" That WAS it, so we decided to stay close to the "trainer" and picked a nearby wall. We purposely went on a weekday so it wouldn't be crowded. However, I believe the few people there were training to be action movie stunt doubles the way they were prancing from one rock to the next.

In the midst of my first climb I quickly looked over to see that my husband was neck-in-neck with me. We started bantering about who'd make it the highest when all of a sudden I heard yelping and saw my husband flying backwards through the air. Everything was in slow motion as I watched his "plus-size" body do a full 360 degree flip and land in what is probably a less common yoga pose.

I took a much more careful descent to the ground to see if he was okay. The stunt doubles and employees checked on him too, only after getting the kind of laughs a comedian wants when he tells a great joke. Within seconds he was on his feet, jumping around and stretching with the same vigor as Richard Simmons. With only his pride hurt we decided to find an easier wall.

We thought we were in the right place when we saw a group of giddy six year old girls climbing up the wall like little monkeys. I mean, if six year olds can do it? Well, as it turns out their limber bodies and tiny feet and hands made them perfect for the wall. They realized our struggles and began to give us tips. I think I even heard a few of the vocabulary words I'd found in my Google search. When one of the employees came to check on us, he pointed out we'd come to the intermediate wall and he could show us something easier. We declined and decided it was time to go before we needed a lawyer to dispute their liability form.

The next day we both made chiropractor appointments and fought over the heating pad. Groupons, since then, have been for massages, movies, and actual orders of chicken wings.

5 Tips to Ensure a Successful Groupon Purchase:

1) Read all of the information provided by Groupon. There is actually a section that says “The Fine Print.” Read it all. They make it short and sweet for you to make an educated purchase decision.

2) Is the discounted amount Krazy enough for you? Will you need to drive across town and waste gas? Are there pricey shipping charges? These extras may add up fast.

3) Maximize your savings by SUBSCRIBING. I used to only visit the site when I remembered and missed out on great deals on all the days I forgot. So sign up! Also, subscribe to nearby cities, or cities you intend to visit in upcoming months. You can unsubscribe when you return home from your trip.

4) Watch the expiration dates. Be sure you can use the service or item before the expiration date. Mark it on your personal calendar or sign up in My Account for email notifications to remind you to use your Groupons.

5) Keep an open mind. Whether it is an adventure like rock climbing or the experience of a Swedish massage, if it’s something you have always wanted to do, do it. Plus, you can do so knowing you did it for the fraction of the cost!

This has been a guest post by Leah from WI
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