Ever heard the phrase ‘life starts at the end of your comfort zone’? Well two years ago I decided that this did actually ring true and made the decision to add some new daredevil activities to my life CV.
So along with my friend Becky, we had a go at segwaying and indoor sky diving, which were both really cool and gave me an appetite to try more.
Then came the ultimate challenge – an abseil down the Northampton Lift Tower to raise money for a charity called Canine Partners. At first I said no, but some of my work colleagues said they would like to try it and our big boss also agreed to do it and even offered to pay the fees for us so how could I say no?
When the day arrived, I didn’t think much of it until I was actually stood in front of the 418ft tower. I could barely see the top with all the mist of the clouds surrounding it. OK, perhaps that was a slight exaggeration but it was definitely a damn sight taller than I anticipated. Unfortunately as there was a group of us taking part, there was a lot of waiting around. I didn’t want to be the first or indeed the last one down. So I went second from last.
Once I was harnessed up and at the top with yet more waiting, I had more of an idea of what I had to do. No one told me you have to climb onto a ledge and then lean back. That was truly terrifying and of course that’s the time where they decide to take your souvenir photo. Somehow, I look quite relaxed in mine, despite being 418ft above my comfort zone. So the descent began. For the first few minutes I kept my eyes closed and just focused on feeding the rope through as fast as I could, which is bloody hard work! At one point I felt reeally isolated as I was too far down to hear the coaches at the top and not close enough to the ground to hear my friends and family. So I kept going until I saw the windows and knew it was almost over. Then I heard the whoops and cheers and finally my feet touched the ground. And then I almost fell on my bum. What a dignified landing! But what a great feeling! I couldn’t believe I’d had the guts to do it and I was apparently one of the fastest down too. No wonder my arms hurt!
Since then I have tried my hand at the Aerial Extreme high rope course, taken part in an outdoor learning centre challenge, which involved a leap of faith, a smaller abseil and a swamp challenge, managed to get all the way round the Grand Canyon Sky Walk, zip-wired across the Welsh valleys, had a wake-boarding lesson and given white water rafting a go. Next up is the infamous 02 Climb.
Not bad for someone who isn’t keen on heights or hates to be under water!