Saturday, 1 June 2013

May Challenge ends on a Very High Note.

June has arrived and so has the sunshine, before I tackle June's goal on my Resolution Challenge I have to report on the Grand Finale for May's challenge, 'Do Something I've Never Done Before'.

When I decided to do this year's challenge on New Year's Eve, I had the basic idea in place.  It has evolved over the months but I knew there were certain goals I had put off over the years and this challenge would be the motivation I needed to see them through.

Writing, creative pursuits, weight loss...all respectable goals, but I wanted to show my clients and my children that it doesn't hurt to think outside the box. 

Never at any point did it cross my mind that screaming my lungs out as I plummeted through the trees, lassoed to a strip of wire would appear on my To Do list!

Our family holiday to Center Parcs in Nottingham's Sherwood Forest was pre-booked last year ready for this May half term and so as I perused the activities brochure I had a moment of madness and thought 'oh what a great idea to add an action challenge to my blog.'

So this is how 'Zip Wire' appeared on the list. 

I thought this would be fairly easy, I've done abseiling, kayaking, pot-holing and rock climbing.  I've also been to the top of the Eiffel Tower, Empire State Building and World Trade Centre.  What I failed to realise is that I was 11 when I tackled the adventurous activities and in my teens and twenties when I travelled.

It was only as I stood in a full harness and safety helmet that I remembered I was 41, a single mother of 3 and bloody petrified!

My eldest son, Lee, very kindly accompanied me on this 'trip of terror' and I was very grateful to have him by my side.  My hands started shaking the second I walked through the gate.  The staff were fantastic and went through the health and safety regulations clearly and explained the course to me in idiot proof language as I think they realised I was a wee bit nervous.

The time came to climb up the ladders to reach the walkways.  Lee went first and I followed behind with an army of 8 year olds' bringing up the rear ( I'm not joking - I was the only adult and the only one trembling).

I honestly thought I would be sick as I stepped out onto the tiny wire bridge.  All that kept going through my mind was 'I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here' and I half expected Ant and Dec to meet me at the end!  Luckily the day was dry and sunny, I can't even imagine what it must be like crossing that first bridge in the rain.  My palms were sweating so much I was struggling the cling on as it was.

Finally, bridge one was complete.  My legs were shaking so much and my head was pounding from the concentration.  Lee was steaming off ahead and I could hear the excited giggles of the kids behind me (probably wondering if they would get into trouble if they threw the old bird off the bridge who was holding up their fun!)

Bridge number two loomed, this one didn't look so bad, at least there were flat foot holds.  If only the thing would stop swaying I might be able to keep my breakfast down.

As I stepped onto the tiny wooden platform at the end of the bridge I let out a rather large OMG which of course the giggling children behind thought was highly amusing.  'You'll be fine' they said, of course this was easy for them to say as they probably weighed two stone all together, knowing I was carrying a little 'holiday weight' I had visions of the wire snapping as I launched myself off the platform and into the abyss.

The member of staff on the ground shouted some comforting words to me before adding '...after three just jump.'

Madness!  If my heart wasn't trying to escape my chest and my knees would stop knocking I may have taken a moment to appreciate the amazing scenery.  The sun filtered through the trees and the light breeze carried the sounds of chattering squirrels and the woodland birds...for the love of God he said JUMP!

So I jumped...

...and screamed the whole way down.

Surprisingly I kept my eyes open all the way and managed to see the wonderful hues of greens and browns of the forest flash past.  I spotted my brave son cheering me on and my parents and other children taking photos and videos (and laughing) and then I saw the cargo net at the end of the wire as it approached at break neck speed...aaaaah!

Okay so my landing wasn't as lady like as I would have liked but I was safely back on the ground - still shaking though.

Lee shot off to have another go as I let the nearest member of staff peel me out of my harness.  'Sure you don't want to have another go?' he asked.

Never Again!

I am, however, incredibly proud of myself that I achieved this goal.  The children made it look so easy and not one of them screamed.  My Dad captured my entire descent on his camera phone and I think I screamed enough for everyone.

Doing something you've never done before can provide you with the tools to have an amazing adventure.  I may have been shaking for several hours after and my stomach was whirling for a while too but I wouldn't have missed it for the world.  My daughter's hug as I reached the ground was priceless - she was proud of her old mum and that felt great.

So what have you done that was crazy or unusual, I'd love to hear about your adventures.  Let me know by leaving a comment below.

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