“I’m scared. Really shitting myself. Why we are being made to do this. I wonder what I can do to get out of it?”
This was my diary entry on the 14th October 2012.
I was on expedition with Raleigh International in Borneo and we had found out the whole expedition were being taken to climb Mount Kinabalu as part of Raleigh’s 10th birthday celebrations. Mount K is 4,000m high, 4 x the height of Snowdon.
If I had known this before, I probably would have pulled out of the expedition…..I HATED CLIMBING MOUNTAINS!!!
So why therefore, back in June this year did I CHOOSE to go mountain climbing and wild camping in Wales??
Why would I get up at 6am on a Saturday morning, drive 3 hours to Wales, climb a mountain, sleep in a tent on a mountain side, climb another mountain and then drive 3 hours home on Sunday??
To a lot of people this might sound like your idea of hell and to be honest, it would have been mine about 5 years ago when I wrote that diary entry!
Now I wouldn’t call myself an adventurer. In fact up until 2012, I made every effort to avoid walking up hills at all costs. I was most definitely a ‘flat path’ kind of girl. Getting out of breath? Why put yourself through that!
So back to the diary entry…….
I didn’t want to do it. I was scared. Scared I wouldn’t be fit enough, scared something bad would happen, scared I would fail, not reach the summit and be embarrassed when I had to walk back down the mountain, and scared that I would be at the back and everyone would laugh at me for being so slow. Talk about being out of my comfort zone – this was like a full on PANIC ALARM!!
In fact what happened was the total opposite.
I reached the summit and felt elated when I got there! My body was way more capable that I realized it was and easily got me to the top. Look how much I was smiling!!
I was at the back of the group but so were others and we worked together to get each other to the top in the most encouraging and supportive way, all willing each other to get there. No-one laughed at me.
In fact this experience went from being something I dreaded to being one of the biggest lessons I learnt about myself.
Physically, I learnt how amazing my body is and that it actually LOVES mountains!
Mentally, I realized I had way more strength and determination than I thought.
What I loved most is that we summited on the 12th December 2012.
This date had been significant for me for many years as my favourite number had always been 12!!
I hadn’t set out for this experience to happen, it wasn’t something I planned and didn’t really have any choice in completing it but now I see my life as pre 12/12/12 and post 12/12/12.
The date I realized I was capable of so much more in my life.
The date I ESCAPED MY BUBBLE for the first time and had a taste of what I wanted my life to really be like.
So that weekend in June 2017, Wild Camping and Mountain climbing in Wales has been on my adventure ‘list’ for sometime. I know this isn’t most people’s idea of a fun weekend, but since my experience in Borneo and other times on my travels (more about the stories I can post in later posts!!) I know I need to push myself out of my ‘Bubble’ (aka comfort zone!) to learn more about myself and how I cope in challenging situations.
This is so true. What was once in my panic zone (climbing a mountain) is now well and truly in my comfort zone. Now I’m looking for experiences to push and stretch me even further as I know I am capable and (most of the time!) believe I can do the things that scare me most.
This for me is the definition of ‘escaping my bubble’. Where my ‘bubble’ is safety, the things I know I can do, the predictable things that don’t require effort or energy. The things that bore me, but are safe and don’t come with any risk or fear. But my biggest life lesson? If I stay in my bubble, I don’t change, I don’t grow and ultimately I don’t have experiences in my life that I can use to help other people change their lives for the better.
At the moment, my bubble is being tested. Big time. I’m embarking on some scary stuff but I have a total belief in my heart that following my passions and dreams and doing the stuff that scares me is the right path.
I’ve never been one for ‘spiritual’ stuff, but right now I am listening to my heart, my soul, my intuition. Whatever you call it.
I know I am on the right path and I’m more excited than I ever have been in my life!
And I am acknowledging the real me is fighting to get out, the me that I stifled and suffocated throughout my 20s and early 30s in a job that I knew in my heart wasn’t what I wanted to do.
But before I climbed that bloody mountain, I didn’t believe I was capable of anything else.
Now I truly believe I can do anything I set my mind too. And I want to help others grow this self belief as on the outside of your ‘bubble’ is a whole world of adventure and excitement just waiting for you to arrive 🙂
Yours in happiness,
20 year old me: I’m too scared, I can’t possibly do that
40 year old me: Don’t worry, I’ve got your back. Be brave. You’ve got this.
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