It’s taken me such a long time to write this challenge up but it’s been one of my absolute favourite so far. I’m incredibly lucky that I have friends from a massive variety of walks of life and I have 100% been taking advantage of this wherever I can for #25at25. When I set the challenge to go on an adventure – I was foolishly hoping I’d use it as an excuse to finally go on our road trip to California. Budget and time constraints meant this wasn’t going to happen, but when my best friend’s fiancee said he’d take me out on an adventure, I absolutely couldn’t say no.
Andy is a rock climbing, gorge walking, kayaking, adventure specialist and on 1st May, he took Chris and I out for a full day of action at Ash Ghyll and Low Force in the glorious North of England. It was incredible. We hung out behind waterfalls, waded through the river, slid down waterfalls, learned some defensive swimming and jumped off bridges. If you’d told me beforehand the things I’d have done that day, I would have laughed in your face, but a combination of adrenaline and Andy’s careful and competent tuition made me throw caution (safely) into the wind and get on with it.
We started out by getting used to the temperature of the water (which I actually thought was quite pleasant – I love a chilly swim), figuring out moving around in the water (buoyancy aids are just the best) and learning how to keep warm. We started with a few little slides, then gradually moved onto smaller jumps and progressed onto some badman leaps into the unknown. I think really, I’m going to let the photos do the talking here…
I’m not sure that the photos really show the height of the jumps we did or can really show how awesome a day we had. This might not have been the adventure I had in mind (it was completely unrealistic though) but Andy made sure it was everything I wanted and more. I’m so proud to talk about my achievements that day – and whenever anyone asks, I immediately tell them how much fun it was. I got a bit of an injury, but I’ve never felt more like it was a wound that I carried with pride! At least I didn’t get it falling down the stairs after tripping over a shoe I foolishly left there in the middle of the night (could genuinely happen).
So if there’s one thing I’m really proud of this year, it’s this. I got out of my comfort zone, into a buoyancy aid and gave #25at25 what for. And it was bloody brilliant.
I just want to keep throwing words at the page to attempt to describe how great this day was, but I don’t know if I realistically can – so if you ever get the chance, just say YES and try something awesome like ghyll scrambling. Just remember to tuck your arse in when you hit the water…
Thanks SO much to the amazing Andy (Shandy – who is incidentally a man I am most proud to call my friend and incredibly pleased he is soon to be marrying my homegirl) for taking us out and showing us the very best of what the British countryside has to offer. He works for Outdoor Ambition based in Darlington and I’m sure he’ll take you out for a fun day too if you’re keen. Holler if you want me to hook you up.
Thanks also to Carly for taking the photos and for finding such a useful man to spend the rest of her life with.
NB! I’m doing the Yorkshire 3 Peaks Challenge next week as part of Challenge 6. It’s climbing three hills of 26 miles over 12 hours. It’s going to be a BIG deal. If you’ve already donated, I owe you 1x cuddle. If you haven’t and you’d like to, you can do it HERE