I network regularly for my business, which is essential, albeit time-consuming it is amazing at the opportunities that come your way.
I joined 4Networking about a year ago, realising the benefits of being a regular member of a group and here I have made good connections and friends through the 4N network. When Sally Jackson was looking for volunteers to do a charity abseil I thought “why not?” and signed up. It’s good to step out of your comfort zone and I do like a challenge and it was for the nominated charity at the Exeter group and a good local charitable cause too – HomeStart.
So we arrived at the beautiful area where Canonteign Falls sits on Dartmoor on April 27th, a beauty spot that I used to take my son when he was growing up who loved to run riot around there! This time I had my grandson with me! In our small group there were 6 of us 4N’ers, we wriggled into our wet-suits, donned our HomeStart t-shirts and the training began. Our equipment was laid out splendidly as we put it on bit by bit – waist & leg harness, chest harness, helmet and gloves. It was all tightened up and then we were shown how to feed the line through our hands, where our hands should be and this was done horizontally across the courtyard! Time to go up!
The first hurdle was the walk up and up and up negotiating tree roots growing out of the ground until we got to the top and the vista from the top of Lady Exmouth Falls was superb, a clear beautiful day. Unfortunately I didn’t realise how high 220ft was and looked down at our descent – wow! The team at the top were great we decided our order and the next hurdle was to catapult ourselves over the railings. I was clipped on given a pep talk while they were doing it and posed for the camera (probably the worst bit for me!) until I disappeared over the edge and out of view. So with Leon’s request of “don’t die nanna” ringing in my ears off I went.
The first bit was fine finding my groove and even looked over to see a rainbow like apparition of the sun hitting the metal and the water giving me some hope that all would be well, that was until I had to swing into the waterfall – this is my nemesis – I really do not like water on my face and must admit I started to get into a flap. I couldn’t make out where to put my feet, my thumb got jammed in the loop of my harness, the legs of the harness were slipping so I couldn’t sit back, my legs started shaking and my upper body strength was draining. I was very uncomfortable and started to struggle, so tapping into my personal development knew the only way was down and started telling myself over and over “I can do this”.
The events team had a man stationed at the halfway point who helped sort out the equipment and talked me over out of the waterfall and helped me on my way for the rest of the abseil. I may not have got down there like Spiderman but I did it. “Did you enjoy that?” I was asked when I got to the bottom – to be honest I would rather have done a parachute jump!
It wasn’t until I got dried and changed went back to cheer on my fellow abseilers that I realised how high it was, Leon wasn’t that impressed though – “You took so long nanna I shot 5 videos of you!” Then with the adrenaline settled I realised how accomplished I felt especially when our trainer advised me that it is the most difficult abseil in England!
Nothing ever grows in your comfort zone and they’re right not even yourself so it’s good to do something different and push yourself, it’s also partly from inheriting a sense of adventure from my late father who I know was looking out for me that day and gave me the strength to carry on. So if you are thinking of testing yourself – do it – by the way with 21 participants we raised approximately £5,000 for a well deserved charity.