Good morning to you all! I hope you are all well and enjoying life on this fine morning! I’m not sure what happened to the Summer? Well, actually I do…the kids broke up from school didn’t they?! The moment that happens the weather seems to turn and the rain sets in! It has meant lots of indoor days this week – we had a session at the trampoline park and a few shopping trips where more money was spent than was strictly necessary but we’ve had a fun week overall!
On Monday we had a day with no rain so I was determined that we would get out into the fresh air and do something fun together. I had seen some Aerial Extreme vouchers on Wowcher and thought it would be the perfect thing that all three of us could do together. Aerial Extreme is a high ropes course in Milton Keynes and suitable for children from 6 years old all the way up to adults. We have all done high ropes before, in fact it was my activity of choice for my 40th birthday so I didn’t hesitate to get it booked. We got a great deal on Wowcher getting our tickets for half price – I love a good bargain!
I had originally planned to do the junior course with Phoebe that’s just 4m off the ground. I understood that children had to be accompanied by an adult but it turned out that I just had to be present on site so as Little Miss Independent was more than happy to go on the course by herself I decided to go on the main Adventurer course with Archie. The main course ranges from 5m to 14m but I was feeling pretty confident and was happy enough to get stuck in. Archie shot off on the course first in our group…not a flicker of hesitation on his face. He has absolutely no fear of things like this and is so strong and agile he was well ahead of the rest within minutes! When it came to my turn to start I was fine for the first few obstacles and then suddenly the realisation of just how far off the ground I was started to get to me! Luckily there was a young girl in front of me that was very nervous so I focused on helping her despite feeling pretty wobbly myself.
As I got about half way round Archie caught me up on his second lap – by now I was starting to settle back into it and was beginning to enjoy myself. It was hard work though! My hands were gripping the ropes so tight and my body so tense it really felt like a proper work out! I reached the end of the lap with a huge sigh of relief…looking forward to getting down for a nice cup of tea! The instructor then took Archie and I up a flight of stairs and showed us the next level of the course. I hadn’t realised there was whole other lap another 10 feet up in the air! This one was so much tougher. Not only was I higher up in the air where the poles were really very wobbly, but the challenges were much harder. There were several activities where you had to leap from one platform to another and even though you are always attached safely to the wire above your head it’s still terrifying.
About half way round there was a tarzan style swing between two platforms and I just couldn’t bring myself to jump. Archie had to talk me into doing it bless him “You can do it Mummy…just go for it!”. The power of the mind in these situations never ceases to amaze me. It is so easy to talk yourself in and out of situations like this and the more you worry about doing something the more difficult it becomes. I did eventually just jump and screamed pretty loud as I forgot to let go of the tarzan swing and nearly got dragged back off the platform. I ended up sitting on the edge of the platform hanging on for dear life while I could hear people having a good old laugh at me down on the ground below!
I made it to the end with very sore hands and absolutely exhausted. Phoebe made it round the junior course 3 times in the time it took me to do my two courses and then she was brought up to the main tower to join me and Archie on the 13m powerfan jump. The powerfan is where you are clipped onto a pulley and hold onto a small rope and throw yourself off a 13m tower down to the floor! The powerfan slows you down as you near the floor but obviously the heavier you are the quicker you go. As I stood on the edge I really didn’t think I was going to be able to do it. The jumping off was definitely the hardest bit. The member of staff was brilliant…he was very matter of fact and just said “standing here worrying about it isn’t going to make it any easier so you might as well just jump. I’ll count to 3 and you jump…1…2…3!” and I jumped, and I screamed all the way down, landing in a very undignified heap on the floor! Fortunately there is no video of me jumping but here are the kids making it look incredibly easy!
Archie and Phoebe jumped as if it was something they did every day. I was still shaking an hour later! It’s amazing how fear creeps up on you the older you get. I have talked about fear before in a previous post and there are plenty of things that I’m pretty scared of in this world but most things I feel I can overcome. I love a good challenge and I’m definitely the sort of person that, if you tell me I can’t do something, I’ll do my best to prove you wrong. I definitely wasn’t expecting to be quite so terrified of this challenge, especially as I have done similar courses before. I’m not sure why we become more fearful of some things the older we get whereas other things seem to become easier?
We really did have a fantastic day out and I was very proud of both the children for being so confident and fearless swinging about up there in the trees! I would thoroughly recommend high ropes for an adrenaline filled day out and I definitely came away feeling a sense of accomplishment and also a little less steady on my feet!
Have you ever attempted a high ropes course or something similar that was a big challenge? How did it make you feel?
Until next time!