This 50@50 challenge was a total surprise on the day, and I had been quite nervous as it approached wondering what my son Matt had planned for me. Growing up he was an absolute joy ( well most of the time) as he loved being outside either climbing, running, walking, cycling or playing sport…..however mostly he was climbing. In Matt’s eyes our homes were only any good if the garden had a decent tree to climb in them. Therefore when we pulled up at Go Ape at Leeds Castle in Maidstone it could not have been more appropriate.
As I have said before I am blessed to have my children grow up into wonderful adults and one reason I am so proud of Matt is because of his supportive and encouraging nature. When we have been on holidays in the past and we have had waterfalls to jump across, ledges with steep drops to walk along or any adventure to undertake he is always there for me with a kind word, a steadying hand or a pat on the back and he has done this since a young lad. There is no fuss or drama, just a solid, steady presence which I have come to rely upon. I now see him doing the same with my daughter-in-law and grand-daughters ( Iyla is already another budding monkey). However I wondered this time if his expectations of me outweighed my ability and even his coaxing abilities!!!
BUT NO!! There is life in the old girl yet. As we suited up I realised the men would be having by far the worst of it 😂 ( although I was covered in bruising the next day) and after a fear inducing, brief training session we headed into the tree canopy for the aerial assault course. It took 3-4 hours and was at times quite physically gruelling ( for an overweight, under-tall and physically not at her peak individual such as myself). However, this was all blown into insignificance by the fun we had. We both absolutely loved the zip lines. It was so hard to just step off the ledges and ‘hope’ you had clipped on correctly and that the ropes would take your weight but, my goodness, the adrenalin of then whizzing through the air, past the trees and out into an open meadow and then back under the tree canopy was fantastic. It’s not often you can scream with joy in a public place but I certainly made the most of this opportunity!!!!! And that gentle ” am I going to have to push you mother” in my ear was the only encouragement I needed to take that initial plunge, after that I was away. Towards the end there was the Tarzan swing which crashed you into a cargo net and I was genuinely worried I would not be able to climb up it but I did not take the easy route, with Matt’s encouragement I gritted my teeth and worked my little legs and arms until I got to the top and onto the platform. He then flew across providing acoustics which resonated around the woods and scrambled up with ease like a contestant on Gladiators ( my genes are in there somewhere).
At the end we agreed that it was a great course, higher up than it initially looked, challenging and fun for the fit and providing less taxing alternatives for the less able. We would both do it again at the drop of a hat and would absolutely recommend it unless you don’t like heights. It was so nice to spend some 1:1 time with my son as life has a general habit of getting in the way and this really was such a great choice of challenge.
Simply the best fun…thanks Matt 🐒