A Success or Failure?
Posted by BarbaraZ on May 30, 2011
My Outward Bound Experience
It was a good many years ago, but I experienced an Outward Bound Excursion. I had sent away for a catalog, and tossed it aside as not a feasible happening for me, but I just could not throw it out!
One day, it made it to the top of the pile once more. Things had changed and I decided that I just might try it. I applied to the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School out of Maine. My 7-day journey was to take place in the Savage River State Park in western Maryland, September 20, 1998.
No matter how hard this Florida girl trained, in the gym with 4 gallons of water in a backpack, with the treadmill slanted as high as it would go, I was not prepared for the climbing I was in for. I had to swallow my pride and accept help. The two instructors were great and so was Kevin, aka ‘Psycho’. They carried my 2 gallons of water every day.
A quote from my diary. “It took all my energy and that energy I did not know was there to get where we were going. At times I could barely lift my feet. What counts is I did keep going—accepting help, which was given often—but always moving forward.”
The rest seemed to be able to climb over things. Me, I had to go under or around (short legs). I knew some of the experienced climbers resented the slowness of my pace. I was not alone though. A former pilot, then a heavy smoker, kept me company. Each good climber was asked to come back where I was and help me. When they saw how hard I was trying, some changed their attitude.
Back at the camp after the trek, we had one more challenge to face. We had to climb to the top of this telephone
pole. We were safely harnessed. When we got to the top, we were to jump off and experience a “Peter Pan type of trip back down, with every one holding a rope to help us down. I did not want to go up. On the trip I became aware I had an unbelievable fear of heights. Me, who had jumped off the roof of our house as a kid!! They persuaded me to go. Well, once I finally got myself seated on top, I could not let myself jump off.
Finally someone suggested I give myself a hug, clasp both arms across my chest and then just lean forward. That worked. So did the whole Outward Bound experience. I came back home, left my job and started in a new direction. Maybe to some, my ‘poor’ performance would have been called a failure, but I knew I had been pushed beyond all former limits I had ever known, and I survived. It changed my whole life.
I relate to these quotes from the book of Readings and Quotes I bought from Outward Bound. They covered Leadership, Challenge, Self Reliance and more.
“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never to back to its old dimensions.” by Oliver Wendell Holmes
“There is only one thing more painful than learning from experience and that is not learning from experience.” by Archibald MacLeish
“I think,” said Christopher Robin, “that we ought to eat all our provisions now, so we won’t have so much to carry.” by A. A. Milne