For the last seven to eight years, my anxiety has kept me in a box. Although I haven’t spoken to a therapist in four years, I’ve still stayed in my comfort zone. This year I’ve decided enough is enough – it’s time to start breaking down these barriers. I’ve already done a few small things that’s pushed the barriers wider, but am yet to completely knock them down. That was until I received an invite to go to Go Ape Southampton with Pompey Bloggers. As soon as I heard the opportunity I knew I had to do it.
I don’t have a fear of heights, I have the fear of falling. Planes are fine, helicopters are fine, tall buildings are fine. However, being in the tree tops on a platform and obstacles with only harnesses holding me up? Not fine. I can’t even walk over the rope bridge at Krazy Kaves. From saying this, it didn’t sound like a good idea to go really…
“Comfort, the enemy of progress” – P.T. Barnum
On arrival I was very nervous, but I wasn’t the only one so I felt slightly better knowing I wasn’t alone. We were (quite literally) shown the ropes by Peter who was super helpful and made me feel really at ease. After being shown how to do everything it didn’t feel as daunting because I knew I was going to be extremely secure up there. Next was to head on over to the trees.
I won’t lie, I was expecting to be thrown into the deep end a little. This wasn’t the case though, the first course was around 2-3 feet up. We was walked through this one too to ensure we understood the ropes and harness. I was still apprehensive as this still seemed a lot for me considering I couldn’t usually go two steps up a ladder. But I did it, and that gave me the confidence to feel like I could do another.
Course two was the first one that was proper tree top height. I couldn’t tell you a rough height as I’m awful with measurement, but it was high, okay? Going through the course I could feel my heart beating so fast and my breathing get erratic. I had to talk myself through it – “don’t think, just do” I kept repeating. Each course had tightropes, tarzan jumps, and bridges to cross until you reach the zip line at the end – which was also my favourite part. I’m not going to lie I had so many moments where I could feel myself becoming overwhelmed, but I pressed through and broke down more and more of my barriers.
On course four, this is where it all got a bit too much for me. When going from course to course, you don’t really look at the course ahead of going up. So I got half way through course four, and noticed that it went even higher. Everything suddenly felt too much and I began to have a massive panic attack and needed to get down. Being x-amount of feet in the air supported by a harness, this isn’t the most ideal situation. I want to thank Mike again for staying with me while a staff member came to get me – I appreciated that so much! Charlie, the staff member, was really reassuring in helping me back the way I’d come and back down the rope ladder. It felt so good to get my feet back on solid ground. It’s fair to say, I did not continue to course five.
Go Ape Southampton was so much fun, and definitely helped me break down my barriers a lot. I reached my limit on this day, but I really want to return one day to finish what I started. I’m still extremely proud of myself for what I achieved though, and will remember it for so long. It’s kind of groundbreaking for me, y’know?
I also want to say thank you to everyone for such a lovely day and for being so kind about my ‘moment’. I’ve left everyone’s links below if you want to check them out (which you should because they’re fab). Thank you to Go Ape Southampton, too, for having us all.
If you enjoyed this, you can read my previous blog post here.