Hi Outward Bound,
I know I regularly give money to Outward Bound which I know is valuable to your organization. Tonight, I wanted to pass on my personal thanks to everyone to Outward Bound for what you have done for ME.
Since my time at OB, I have managed to repair my relationship with my Mum and strengthen my bond with my Dad. Also, I have even in these difficult times, changed employment recently (only made possible by the pandemic) to a vocation more appropriate for my skill set.
I have made difficult decisions such as leaving operations in St John Ambulance which I have volunteered for many years - but know this was needed to maintain my physical health. I have stood up for myself on more than one occasion, spoken up for colleagues at work when they were bullied or given a difficult time by staff members, they should have been able to trust. I have completely changed my whole attitude on life, am more appreciative of the simpler things and have a better relationship with my husband.
I have travelled in areas I didn't think I would be able to - including tramped the part of Stewart Island, sea kayaked, snorkelled, spotted Kiwi during the daylight, stone carved, and e-biked all the roads of Stewart Island (January just been). I have travelled the length of the North Island by driving myself, went white water rafting down a 7m waterfall and tramped Hot Water Beach last winter, and did a whole load of bucket list items all by myself without needing my husband to hold my hand.
I am more confident in myself, see going to work as an adventure not to be missed, and have fought some pretty major health battles - including cheating death 3 times in the past year. I have also lost almost 20 kg since I started training for OB in 2018. I know that I attribute these changes and achieving these goals because of OB. I never in my wildest dreams would have imagined that this would have been possible when I started getting ready to go to OB in June 2018. Thank you for this - I am a better person and I know that my Mum has noticed the huge changes in me - and it has only just been recently that she told me that she loves me very dearly and that I am very special to her.
Thank you for giving me a second chance at life - and to have enough courage to step outside of my comfort zone and do things that I know very well I would not have had to guts to do before I changed in 2018. The quote (which is in The Challenge of Words) "Life is not a dress rehearsal" sticks very closely with me - and I regularly read a quote from the book and mull on how I can apply this to my life.
My next challenges will to be to visit my Mum in Australia when the border opens (have not seen my Mum in over 6 years)and go back to Stewart Island and do the 10 day North West Circuit - a tramp that I eagerly await to do. These are challenges I would not have attempted if OB had not given me the skills and guts to do - I know that you say that I had this in me all along, but I could not see this until recently.
Thank you once again - it is appreciated what OB has done for me - and continues to do. Thank you also, for the Inward Bound series that you put out over the pandemic time - I have looked forward to being regularly challenged and inspired.
Onwards, upwards and please continue to enhance people's lives like mine.
(Front row, second from right in watch photo)