17th July 2018
I said the ill keep you updated on my adventures and today is a good one :).
Today I was going to GO APE, and outdoor activity centre with a group of people who I’d never met before, as you can imagine I was a bit, nervous because this was my first days out with them. There were three of us in the car easily had a conversation. Once we made the journey and met the rest of the group, despite the variety of disabilities, they are a confident group and easy to talk to and I was settling down nicely. We had a small barbecue for lunch and I no time we were heading to the GO APE.
Now I have to say that the last time I want to an outdoor activity centre place must be around 2011-2012. I spent a weekend at a place called: Lambourne End, and I did all sorts: climbing, archery, caving, rope course……. and that must be my all time favourite going away for a weekend to date. So when ‘team leaders’ were explaining what GO APE meant the group was nervous and we say that they would never do that, don’t get me wrong I was a little nervous when the course was described to me. However when we were walking towards the area and when I first saw it for the first time, the first memory I went back on was the rope course back in Lambourne End! However, this course was more like a zip wire and walking on platforms than walking on ropes.
The only obstacle that I had to face is:
- How do I get to A to B
- the height, from the ground, the course looks high!
Now for the harness, the group had sorted out a (sit-down harness), these were for those who struggle to stand and balance on their own. At the time, I do not think I had used on the these before. so the first point I was a bit worried about (i must admit.)
After I explanation and health and safety talk, we had some practice before we go onto the ‘super high’ robes. One by one everyone would have a go, then when it was my go, I had to get used to sitting down and letting the harness take over. Which was a bit confusing at first and so at first a hesitated to sit down and once I did I flew uncontrollably towards my partner who was helping me on this course. Before long the practice run was over and time for the big one.
Now I think that the hardest challenge for me was to go up three/four sets of stairs. These narrow stairs and my big feet were working together, and I had taken everything slowly making sure that my big feet were clear for the next step. And to be honest with you, MOST of my energy had finished at the point where I made it to the top!
So my first go, I was ok with the height, and my main little thing is still the sitting down onto the harness, and I sat down and flew into the air, swinging heading towards, John the person was up here with me. All the time in my head are loads of thoughts and ideas on how I can control this crazy situation I’m. It is difficult to explain them all; how can I manage my spinning, speed that I was going, whats going to be the easiest way I go on about this CRAZY situation I put myself in. Now I’m sure there are loads more going on upstairs and before I knew the first one was done. Now we had to walk around the tree platform, which honestly reminds me of the Ewoks settlement from StarWars Return of the Jedi. I was surprised at myself that while walking on my feet, I didn’t once feel nervous about the height. I just knew that the harness was going to catch me if I did fall.
For the rest of the courses, surprisingly I was fully embracing the hight and with the full knowledge that the only thing keeping me from falling is this harness I was fully embracing the height and the fact that I was sitting down. Even when I get caught up on the wooden boards, I was starting to get the hang off using them to my advantage to keep my moving or when I need to stop.
My confidence grew so high that on the 4th robe course I was swinging like Tarzan! Ha, that feeling is like no other, when you have no fear what so ever and I enjoy the environment in all its greatness. The only thing I wish I had while I was up there was a GoPro video camera, I could have shown you what a fantastic experience that I was having, and for some, how high it was.
The further in the robe course we were, my knees were getting tired more quickly, and at times my body gave me no choice but to sit down. (lucky I didn’t have to sit down far). the members of staff were excellent and even support me for the later stages just overall helping me up on my feet or supporting me.
After we completed the ten challenges, the final task was a ZIP WIRE. Now I have never been on a zip wire. When it was my go, I was nervous haha when they gave me the go-ahead my feet were in front of me getting closer to the edge, and I had to lean and let gravity take over. As soon I went down it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was, the funny part is halfway down I span round so I was looking behind me looking for the landing platform. I have no idea how but I managed to get a perfect landing on my bottom!! :).
All credit to the staff who had to carry me around the platform and back into my chair.
I think that today indeed has shown that we can all conjure Fear, many of the group didn’t want to up on the course but at least tried and did succeed, and that can be for everyone and not just people with disabilities.