Life after Outward Bound was rough. I had to go to work when I wanted to be gallivanting with no obligations, but I also wanted to make my life, that set of circumstances, serve me. My adventure self seeded at OB had to compete with a life that served my ambitious and analytical sides. The selves were rivals and they came to a full clash on the third Monday back: I had a panic attack at work and was starkly confronted by reality. Confronted by the imbalanced life I was living pre-OB and could easily slip back into.
Something had to change; it was time to pick up the shovel and sow the seed that OB gave me. It was hard to pick up the shovel though, to decide, commit and pursue hard growth. Thankfully I had Paula Popenhagen for help through life coaching sessions. With her, I seized the shovel and made space for adventure me, happy me to grow.
What have I done for growth? Initiated an adventure club. It's like a tramping club, but better - spontaneous, fluid and full of exciting uncertainty. The adventures let me be the person I’ve always wanted to be - jumping off a high bridge into freezing cold water at every chance, addicted to the thrill and warming afterglow, all the while encouraging (sometimes pushing) others to follow.
There's a sensation I feel in these ecstatic moments. Inside me, my heart sings with joyous laughter. Free, full of glee. These moments keep the flame that Outward Bound lit, alive. I'm so happy to have created a space that stocks the fire, for not just me, but everyone who comes along for the ride. “Adventurous” definitely describes me.
I recently took a big scary jump, one that wasn’t into water but still had the same rush as jumping off a bridge. After attempting to commit to high-performance sport this year, I’ve decided to step back from it. I wanted to commit to it as a form of service, a way of giving back to others in that space, but my heart is elsewhere, in the bush, climbing mountains. In order to grow, I had to say no.