OK…so this is not the most flattering picture I have ever been in, I am still proud of it however! Last weekend I joined 8 other equally “crazy” people to have a go at travelling over 100 mph, head first through a former slate quarry in Snowdonia. Billed as “the closest thing to flying” it’s the longest zip wire in Europe and the fastest zip line in the world- and my eyes were open throughout and I didn’t scream even a tiny bit!!
WHY? is the general question I get asked and I have been asked this question numerous times over the years: “why would you throw yourself out of a perfectly good airplane?” “why did you throw yourself off a crane with a bit of elastic around your ankle?” I could go on. My answer is usually that we regret the things we haven’t done and not the things we have (even nearly drowning when swimming with sharks).
The origin of setting myself the challenge to try new exciting things (even if they terrified me) came when I was a student nurse dealing with death and illness, and following the death of my grandfather. These two events led me to question what life and living meant to me, and so began my adventures: flying and jumping out of airplanes, paragliding, windsurfing, bungee jumping, travelling, festivals, gigs…and then it all stopped suddenly when I developed chronic back pain. My early experience of living with pain was also about living in fear and terror as I began to face new fears on a daily basis, such as peeling vegetables, using a knife and fork, walking, hugging…It seemed every movement caused spasms and excruciating pain.
Today I am generally pain free (thanks to mindfulness and movement) and those everyday tasks are once again familiar to me without pain. As I gained more confidence in my mind and body I began to set myself those challenges again and in the beginning facing my fears would be things like wearing high heels, cycling, camping and now I am flying!
Facing our fears takes courage no matter how “big” or “small” the task we wish to face and in facing it we gain confidence and accrue evidence for our own capabilities which can never be taken away from us. Perhaps most importantly they broaden our world. What will your adventure be?