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A Story of Courage ~ The higher you go the further you fall

stephanie pole climbing

My Story of Courage

by Stephanie Pole

This involves me climbing in trees at Adrenaline Forest: something I have managed to avoid all my life up until now. Before our school closed down, we were given a grant to take the kids to do fun things – there were four trips to Adrenaline Forest – I pulled rank and went to Laser Strike four times! I don’t have a fear of heights but I’m not that keen on them. What I concluded, when I thought about why I didn’t want to go, was that it is a fear of falling rather than being up high. So of course they go together – the higher you go the further you fall. I sometimes have nightmares about falling or trying to catch something that is falling. Thrown in there is a touch of being out of control of a situation.

So how did I end up at Adrenaline Forest?

Well, last year I participated in the Adventure Category of the 20 Week Challenge doing a lot of new activities like go-carting, horse riding, snorkelling, aquafit, dancing and biking. Around came June 4By4 this year and I need to find four more new activities to do. There didn’t seem any way around it (when in Christchurch doing new activities – Adrenaline forest always comes up) – I had to climb trees!


Pete was keen to come and support me. I was very nervous but once it had been talked about I couldn’t back down. I even mentioned on Facebook that I was going, to reinforce it! When the instructor was demonstrating the harness and we had a bit of a practice, I was trying to do my yoga breathing, hoping my body wasn’t going into flight mode! It worried me at first that the instructor just said, “Level one is over there,” as I thought we would have someone showing us what to do. I was really pleased that it was a wet day and there was hardly anyone there. I could see some barrels strung high up with a girl lamenting to her parents about going through them. “I’m not doing them!” I stressed to Pete. He replied, “Oh no, you won’t have to!”

Having him to follow was encouraging as I could see that he was ok and also I had to keep up with him so couldn’t spend too much time wimping about. I started off very nervous about the clipping on and off system but soon got the hang of it. One of the hardest was the high wire where you walk on one, holding onto the other: they are quite wobbly, especially the one you hang on to so I was worried about falling forward or back then slipping off. My strategy was to focus on a point in front of me and edge slowly, using my yoga breathing (that I learnt when I started going to classes in the 2016 Challenge). It got really tricky near the end so when I finally stepped onto the platform I could feel the relief surge through my body.



I realised there was no way of avoiding any of the challenges: I’m sure they must have ladders or something for those people that slip or have a panic attack but it was pretty much the only way to get down was to do the tasks! And what do you know? We reached the barrels! No way to avoid them!! Turned out they were more awkward than scary as they were quite stable rather than dangling as I had imagined! I was proud of myself for facing up to the challenge and finding the courage to complete it.



What is the 20 Week Challenge?

Courage My Love sponsors the 20 Week Challenge annually with a prize voucher for the lucky winner to buy themselves some great new activewear. The 2017 Challenge is in it’s last weeks and we are sharing some stories of the people who have spent the winter making change in their lives.

The 20 Week Challenge was created by Broni Mac who has been in the fitness industry for over 20 years and won awards for her efforts.  Broni has used over 120 Personal Trainers, many of whom have been national Award Winners,  to deliver the programme and called upon a wealth of dietitians, nutritionists, mental conditioning coaches and movement specialists to contribute to the material. They’ve helped thousands of people to lose weight and that’s without even having a weight loss category in this transformation challenge! They believe that the road to being healthier and fitter should be fun, injury free and as easy as possible.

The Challenge is open to any adult who wants to make a change in their life regardless of your current level of fitness. Whether you are chasing more energy, less back pain, want to run 5km or a marathon, overcome an injury, learn to swim, quit smoking, sleep better or take up pole dancing, they’ve got your covered with some 25 categories in the Challenge.


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