So last year for my birthday my gorgeous son bought me some vouchers to GoApe. I didn't have a chance to use them then as we had a spell of bad weather afterwards, so I decided to leave the experience till the spring for sunnier days since they were valid for a year. Alas my foot injury put paid to that idea and finally the week of the end date came up. So I booked. What the hell let's go for it.
Now in June it is supposedly summer, but this is England and rain is often part of the deal ... but high winds and torrential rain .. I mean rain you can't drive through without your windscreen wipers doing a frantic dance.
I was buckled into my harness, as other more sensible people were cancelling their adventure at the kiosk, and set to the training. It was when I realised I was responsible for the safe clipping and unclipping at each stop of my dear boy that I had a major wobble ... aaaagh ... I didn't at that moment feel exactly responsible for myself. What if I forgot that green clip goes on first, comes off last and always clips to green? What if some how the blue's not attached? This stuff is not to be messed with ... some people fall ... some people die ... very, very, very, very rarely and only if they fail to follow the safety procedures, but the danger factor was rising in my head.
But on we went.
My son was amazing, he'd done a GoApe before and was right little trooper considering the weather. Our party ended up ahead of us and we were left mother and son to wander the tree tops alone. It was awesome. Our own personal adventure, me and him against the elements. It did feel a bit like boot camp or some mission we had to complete. There were moments for me when the fear really rose up ... like launching myself off onto the longest, highest zip wire with trees swaying like crazy and clouds of horizontal rain swirling through my vision. My foot injury meant I couldn't land so well and my backside got used rather than my legs. Covered in wood chip that clung to every bit of me I patted myself on my soggy shoulder feeling pretty chuffed with myself.
There were moments when each of us wanted to give up, but we kept each other going. It took us three hours. There wasn't one bit of me that was dry. We weren't just damp all the way through, but swimming in our clothes. I drove home with little rivers pouring off my sleeves.
In the end it was great. A crazy adventure that pushed me out of my comfort zone. Fear is fear, what ever it is, and conquering just one tiny facet of it is good for the soul. I conquered a little bit of mine that day. It is a liberating and empowering feeling. I well recommend going ape once in a while. Next time I hope for sunshine though, I admit.
The Dreadess xx