My 8-year-old was invited to an adventure party on Saturday at Battersea Park, I heard it was at a place called ‘Go Ape.’ I have never heard of this place before, but it sounded like fun.
So, on the day in question, I gathered my 3 girls (my daughter, her friend and my 6-year-old) into the car and set off; my plans were to drop the 2 girls off, then go chill out with the 6-year-old, sounded like the perfect plan. Did I forget to mention? It was a rainy, dreary day, but we received an email from the host earlier stating that the weather would not mar or disrupt the activities, “fine by me,” I said.
I will not bore you with the conversations which took place in my car, my expressions ranged from, “seriously, these girls are so mature and they are only 8” to “Oh my goodness, I need to jump out of this car right now, someone gag these girls, please.” At one point, I did consider leaving them by the kerb, but I did have someone else’s kid in the car and I would have to explain to her mum why I ran off and left her child, sounded like a lot of hassle, so I kept the girls.
Anyhow, I survived the journey. When we got there, the host asked if my 6-year-old would like to join in because there had been a cancellation, and I thought, “why not?”
Then, all of a sudden I looked up and saw all the ropes and got really excited, something in me just wanted to climb those ropes.
Let me tell you a bit more about me. I am extremely risk averse. I am the sort of mum who will facilitate all known activities, as long as I am allowed to sit on the sidelines and clap. I have often thought of taking the girls skiing as long as I am not involved. I do not engage in dangerous sports, I cannot afford to be on crutches and still be expected to cook and clean.
I must have been spellbound because I signed myself up for a ‘dangerous sport’ and I was really excited about it. I could not wait to get up there and swing around like Tarzan’s better half, Jane.
Crunch time, I was a bit hesitant, but I continued. 2 minutes into the ordeal, I wanted out. “Father Lord,” I screamed, “Who asked me to do this?” This boy behind me was laughing his head off.
Anyway, there was no way out so I had to continue. Did I tell you that it was raining? So I had legitimate concerns at one point. Everything was slippery and I could have easily slipped and be left dangling on the harness above ground level, mid-air. “What would that do to the poor kids below?” looking up and seeing this large woman swinging and screaming “Jesus help me.”
Would I scar them for life? Would I give them nightmares? Let us face it, a big woman dangling mid-air looking like she was trying to climb an invisible ladder ain’t a pretty sight. So I made up my mind not to be the cause of any child’s psychological issues. I braced myself and decided to focus only on the task ahead.
From then on, it was relatively ok, not in the least scary. My only other concern was if the ropes were strong enough for my weight. Look, before you judge me, those were legitimate fears as well. As a kid, I was kind of large, and I had pulled down a few branches or 4 whilst attempting to swing. I had snapped a few swings (made out of rope) in my day, so forgive me if I was worried. Like I said, don’t judge.
I sang a few songs (mainly praise and worship songs) if anything happened, I wanted the LORD to know I died, praising his name. I shouted “Heavenly Father,” once or thrice, but It was all good. I even took a couple of selfies. Look, I was living dangerously already, so taking selfies was only the most natural thing to do; check out my focus face.
I finished all the tasks happily and got my certificate.
Lesson learned: if you focus on the tasks ahead of you, you will not have space in your head to focus on fear. Fear needs a fair amount of focus in order to be brought to life. You are the only one capable of feeding your fear. Fear is selfish and wants sole occupancy in your mind. Never give in to fear.
I also learnt, having doubts and being afraid are 2 different elements. I had my doubts, I dealt with them and I moved on. There is nothing wrong with being afraid, but do not let it be the focus of your attention.
So, was I scared? Not really. Did I have doubts? Hell Yes. Will I be doing this again YES MA’AM I SURE WILL!!!