OB Alumni Rose O'Connor gives us a wonderful personal account of witnessing her son's experience at Outward Bound - over 30 years on from her own experience.
We then had to run back to Linkwater and along Queen Charlotte Drive, towing our injured 120kg buddy/Watch mate Tangi in a trolley, in the icy dark of winter while Kevin biked back to collect our van from Picton. It wasn’t our fault that Kevin was a fitness ‘freak’ training for the Coast-to Coast, nor that the van broke down and we had to run over 10kms instead of the intended four before being rescued!
So, apologies for stealing and hiding Kevin’s treasured Calgary Winter Olympics uniform belonging to his brother-in-law but he really shouldn’t have trusted its hiding place to 14 exhausted, hungry under-graduates. He really did push us to the extreme level of ‘challenge that day and he got off rather mildly!’
We eventually owned up, even if it was the night before the course ended as we, Rutherford Watch 311, presented our concert item song along with his sports clothes raised on a clothes line! Kevin deserved it! (And I’m not really sorry even now!)
So, Rowan’s adventure seemed far tamer to this aging Outward Bound graduate. However, he spent much of his seven days based off site at Deep Creek – without that frozen Anakiwa concrete pad for PT (fitness) at 6am, that daily gruelling two mile run (sorry Rowan but of course my fastest time beat your record), a plunge into the freezing waters of the Sound and finally a wash down in the icy outside shower at the concrete corral!
It really is amazing how super speedy you can sprint through the pain barrier with the dream of a hot breakfast beckoning.
But all is not lost for this aging Outward Bound graduate. I still have great tolerance to pain, strive to squeeze in as much as I can in a day and run (at a much more sedate pace) along my favourite Buller beach followed by a polar plunge into the Tasman Sea whenever I can - all year round.
Crazy though it may seem, that is my little bit of Outward Bound spirit resurfacing- character-building, very therapeutic even though it’s very very cold!
Outward Bound – certainly a lifetime experience and one that I will never forget nor regret!