Huzzah! I successfully completed the Tree Top Challenge at Go Ape yesterday!
Here’s me before the start, looking very unglamorous next to an ape sculpture.
I’m very proud of myself because I did the whole course, not even chickening out at the very scary Tarzan Swing plummet. There was an easier option here, and I nearly succumbed to its temptation – it was only the encouragement of my partner and total strangers around me that made me do it! Thanks, guys!
I’m relieved that, physically, I only have slightly aching arms to show for it all. 🙂
Here’s the certificate, as proof!
I did it as research for The Dare Club – the book I’m writing. My characters, who meet at a divorced and separated course, are challenging themselves to do things they find scary. It’s partly a distraction, to stop them thinking about their changed circumstances, but they also just want to test themselves to see what they can do. And have fun too, of course!
I could never have imagined what it would feel like to do The Tree Top Challenge without having done it. Obviously, I thought it would be frightening at times, and I hoped it would be exhilarating too. The pre-course training was excellent and inspired confidence as far as it could – all essential details for writing about it.
Here’s me, post training, setting off for the tree tops!
There’s nothing like the reality of taking your first leap off a platform towards a Tarzan net and then finding out that you need quite a lot of strength in your arms to climb up to the next platform (and not been completely sure that you have enough strength to do it…) Or walking across a bit of flimsy rope high up in the sky. Fortunately, I’m not scared of heights, and this is obviously a distinct advantage!
Another good thing is that I never need do the Tree Top Challenge again! But I think I’ve certainly developed a taste for challenging myself. It makes you feel really alive when you successfully achieve something scary – something a bit out of your comfort zone.
My next challenge for The Dare Club is to imagine my characters turning up at Go Ape. How will they be feeling? Will one of them emerge as a natural leader? Will they work well together as a group? I don’t think I’ll make it easy for them. I think they might get lost on the way and turn up at the last minute in a fraught state, blaming each other for being late. Something like that. My partner and I were so worried about being late, we had an hour and a half to kill. Yes, an hour and a half! That’s seriously punctual, and very dull, I realize! Ha ha!
Bring on the next challenge! I’m ready!