I love to try new things and see how far I can push myself but last week was possibly the hardest and most terrifying challenge that I have ever faced.
I have been to Salcey Forest a few times before to enjoy the fresh air and always fancied taking part in their tree ninja experience but it always turned my stomach and I never thought id be brave enough to do it so when the opportunity came last week to have a go I thought now’s the time to see how far I can push myself.
I woke up feeling a little apprehensive which became magnified when I saw it was raining but couldn’t help feel excited too at the chance to be adventurous. Once I arrived an enthusiastic man explained how to put the safety gear on and navigate your way around the course which is where I started feeling a little shaky due to being excited, nervous and cold!
So off I set on my mission to become a tree ninja and what an experience it was! There are a range of obstacles throughout the course which start at 4 metres right up to 10 meters (I stopped at 8) and each one begins with a wooden rope ladder. For some reason when I’m up high and look down I feel naturally scarred but if I look up my legs turn to jelly so I found the ladders testing especially when it came to the 8 meter one. Each course has around 5 obstacles from walking on wires dodging things along the path, stepping between log swings, pulling yourself across the wire on a small wooden platform, a rock climbing wall and each section ends in a zip wire which I have enjoyed and felt free flying through the air but half dreaded as you had to stop yourself in time by dragging your feet to avoid hitting the tyre at the end of it – something which I did a few times which hurt!
Although it was the most terrifying thing I have ever experience I found just how determined I can be and how far I can push myself. I concentrated on my breathing which kept me calm apart from at one point when I began to panic at 8 metres but found a inner strength to complete the obstacles. The hardest challenge was moving between obstacles but I became focussed on what I needed to achieve and as a result succeeded.
As I mentioned briefly above after I had completed the 6 metre course I was beginning to really feel terrified and could have stopped but my adrenaline pushed me on to the 8 meter course which until you are up there is difficult to know just how high it feels! I tried my best not to look down but on the occasion you catch a glimpse of the ground or when you’re trying to get off the rope ladder onto the wooden platform your heart beat triples. I did hug a few trees for safety when I had reached the platform!
Towards the end of the 8 meter course I was so eager to reach the zip wire as by this point the height was really getting to me. As I zipped down the wire I caught my leg slightly when trying to slow myself down and pulled a muscle so had a little limp and picked myself up! Even though there was one more set of obstacles left at 10 metres I was torn by wanting to complete the full course but felt that I had reached by limit and I was so proud of what I had achieved.
Since completing the course I feel a sense of achievement, empowerment and I realised how strong I am as a person. I can put myself in the most terrifying situations and stay calm, collected and focussed to achieve a goal. If I began to feel scarred which I did a number of times and my upper body froze I was able to take control of the situation, reassure myself and carry on. It is a shame that I have no pictures of the course of a video of me doing it but you can click on the website to get a feel for it. I’m not sure if I would do the course again, of course if someone planned a day out there I would but I feel like I have ticked the box now but i’m on the look out for my next challenge. As you may have seen from a recent vlog I have applied to run the marathon which is a huge physical challenge for me and one of the reasons for this is because I would love to complete the London to Brighton Trek which takes place over a couple of days. It is my aim to take part in the trek and maybe if I don’t get accepted for the marathon I will sign up for the trek anyway! You can do absolutely anything if you put your mind to it and I really believe that. Sometimes your confidence can take a knock and it’s easy to forget how amazing you can be and we need to start remembering it.