Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Feel the fear...

I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.
W.E. HENLEY, INVICTUS                     

So, I was working at our local Visitor Information Centre a couple of months back and I found out that a new Trees Adventure had opened up near us. And I thought to myself "oh, we should go there!" and then I thought "someone should organise that for our homeschool group" and then thought "oh, I suppose that would be me".

So I did.

(note to self: next time charge an extra $1.00 per person organisation fee, because it is STRESSFUL sorting out numbers, discounts, age groups, online payment, dealing with Facebook messages, events, text messages, phone calls and emails).

Anyhoo, after all that stress, yesterday was the day! 41 (count 'em!) brave kids and some of their parents (moi included) took to the trees! It was a stunning day, not a cloud in the sky, although I ended up half-deaf from the 120 decibel screech of cicadas and needed a shower after all the cicada rain.

Trees Adventure are an "eco-adventure" ropes course - they have progressively higher and harder ropes courses for everyone from age 4 to well, 74 if you're fitter and slimmer than me! There are 6 courses ranging from yellow to black (that sounds ominous).


Now, I'm a bit nervous of heights, so my enthusiasm wasn't super-high, but hey - life is a challenge, right? Right!

The kids and I were in the 13+ age group, so they started us on the blue course - starting with a climb up about 8m high. My hands were shaking from that point onward! Video Boy went first - he was a bit nervous about the first flying fox, but after that he took off like a mountain goat! Wombat Girl was in her element - so enthusiastic!

Talking myself into jumping off a perfectly safe wooden platform metres off the ground...

From there we had to climb along cliffs:

And traverse great heights with only wibbly-wobbly tiny-weeny bits of wood to hold you up:

The wibbly-wobbly bits were the WORST! I can share with you that I was a bit of mess on those - I like my 8 metre high bridges to be solid (so you can't see through them) and NOT FREAKING MOVING!!!! Alas, this was not the case. The "bridges" moved. A LOT! I'm not exaggerating when I say I was hyperventilating and hanging onto those ropes for dear life, people! My arms are sooooo sore today.

(note to self: bridges made of matchsticks and wire are wobbly)

There may or may not have been a few choice words for the unfortunate children behind me to learn (life learning?) and there may or may not have been a couple of tears squeezed out when I felt completely stuck. Luckily my daughter is the loveliest soul in the world, and stayed to talk her poor, hapless, vertiginous mum through it with helpful hints about where to put my feet and which rope to hang on to. I love her more than words can say. Video Boy was super-impressive too - motor dyspraxia be damned! I love him to bits too. I'm so proud of both them for being brave, helping their mum and helping lots of other younger kids too. The went to do the Red course and were disappointed to run out of time to attempt the black course - that one can wait until we take their father along!

It's really hard to take photos of yourself and your kids when you are terrified and also otherwise indisposed, but one lovely mum took lots - beautiful photos of kids and mums who have no idea I might put them in a blog, so I won't.

But I will include me:

...because you don't really know what you are capable of until you try. Every fibre of your being and every cell in your body might be telling you to give up, play it safe, turn around and get the hell out of there, but it is amazing what you can talk yourself into. Your imagination and the anticipation of the unknown can be worse (much worse) than the reality. I hope I can take those emotions and the things I learnt from yesterday into all my future "no freaking way!" situations!

(note to self: don't even think of trying to go to sleep early with all those post adrenaline hormones pumping through your body!)

PS: if you are thinking I ran across those logs like in the video you are seriously delusional. They don't video people like me doing it, because a) YouTube don't let you upload videos that long and b) no-one would want to do it. But you should. It's fun. Really. OK, maybe not "fun", but a good thing to do. OK, challenging. Yep. Challenging. You all need a good challenge :-)

PPS: I think I can tick off about 50 PDHPE syllabus outcomes after yesterday!


  1. Totally, totally impressed by you having a go!! I would have been the mum taking the photos;)

  2. OMG you are amazing ... I went up the Auckland Sky Tower last year with the family and had to be escorted back down as I was so dizzy and nauseaous and PETRIFIED from the heights and that's in a building! What a great place that looks - my kids would love it too.

    1. I tell you - I WAS nauseous by the end! Jelly arms and legs. Had enough!

  3. Oh, that looks looks so fun, and terrifying, and fun. Go, Ingi!

  4. I've always wanted to try something like that! The one here in Melbourne is too far from where I live but we'll try to make the next event that's organised there. Good on you!

  5. You gotta go and you gotta blog about it!

  6. Wow! Brave mama! Looks fun, but terrifying.

  7. Wow - that looks like an amazing experience for you all! (and well done on the organising - also no mean feat!) I bet you came away feeling so pleased with yourselves.
    I did a "Jacob's Ladder" with my kids at CenterParcs a few weeks ago - also high and wobbly and requiring team work to get up (ie my kids climbing on me to get up and then having to help pull me up after them - eek). I don't mind heights but I found the whole thing extremely confronting emotionally! Felt great afterwards though.
    Nice to see you back, btw :-)

  8. Cicada pee!!! OMG!

    We did a zip line tour in October and I found myself with very shaky knees. It was fun though.

    I feel your pain on the whole organization thing. Makes one tear their hair out. Never again.

  9. Om my I was nervous for you. I am terrified of heights and would have drove myself crazy watching the girls. Way to go and work through your fears! Looks like you had a blast.


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