Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Outdoor pursuits

Last week it was T's birthday and she decided that what she really really wanted to do was to go to the outdoor activity centre where her hubby works, invite all of us and let us 'play' around on all the stuff. I don't know what's wrong with a nice meal and a few drinks, but hey, when it's someone's birthday they get to decide. Them's the rules and they must be obeyed.

The very idea of this whole thing filled me with absolute horror. The centre where G (the hubby) works was one where all children who grew up round where I did had to go when they were 9 and 10. Some of those kids absolutely loved it. But not me. I had the worst time ever. I was one of those kids who never went anywhere without my teddy so he came to camp with me. And someone thought it would be really funny to steal him away from me. I was utterly traumatised. I remember lots of tears and even more lots of wishing desperately that I could just go home to my mam and dad. By breakfast the next day I'd just got over one trauma and I had to endure another. We were heading out on this big walk so we had to eat all our breakfast and weren't allowed to leave the table until we had. Including sloppy slurpy grilled tomato which nearly made me sick. So grand experience for me there then...

Driving there on Sunday all was well until we reached the drive. As we headed down there I started feeling sick and my legs were shaking with fear. I kid you not. I was utterly crapping myself at the whole thing. I was so far out of my comfort zone that I needed a whole new zone. Standing at the bottom of the climbing wall watching everyone else just buzz up there, seemingly without fear...I was nearly crying with terror. I felt like such an idiot. But a determined one. Cos no matter how scared I was, I was bloody determined that I was going up that wall, even if I did fall off and make myself look like a total eejit. Luckily I have very understanding peeps, so when I begged that they all go away so that there was only me, and T&G, they were brilliant and left us to it.

And so it was. I was harnessed and roped. And facing the wall like it was a death squad wall! Deep breath, big gulp, approach wall. One foot off the ground. Two feet off the ground. Arms moving up. Feet moving up. I was there! I was on the wall! And I wasn't falling. I wasn't crying. I was actually...could it be...was this really enjoyment? Legs quaking like jelly, I proceeded my way up, with very supportive shouts and placement hints all my way up two thirds of the wall. I didn't quite get to the top like I'd wanted to. But I did it. And I was so proud of myself! Big beaming smile of pride. Here's a pic of me in action:

As I was brought down by G and touched ground I whooped with joy! T rushed over to give me a big hug and my pride literally (this sounds so cheesy) but it surged out of me in total joy! I never thought I'd do it, I couldn't believe I had done it. I was shaking like a leaf and my heart was pounding, but by golly she did it chaps!

From that point on there was no stopping me. Abseiling was next. LOVED it! Had to go twice in fact cos I liked it so much and actually stopped halfway down and asked how to bounce. Another action shot below:

There's another shot of me below doing archery too:

All in all it was a really great day. I texted T&G when I got home to thank them so much. Especially as they were so very kind to me, knowing how scared I was, they were really brilliant and helped me overcome all that fear. It's been a couple of days now and I know you shouldn't indulge too much, but I'm still so proud of myself. I'd packed into my bag, my book and a picnic blanket and secretly thought that all I'd be doing was watching from the ground whilst everyone got on with the fun stuff. It's good to surprise yourself sometimes...

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