In July I went paintballing with colleagues from work. It turned out to be an intense session of exercise which I didn’t expect, as I was crouching down a lot of long periods of time, hiding from getting hit by paintballs. Yesterday I went with colleagues to Go Ape Sherwood, just north of Nottingham. This also turned out to be a day of unexpected exercise.
Set in the forest of Sherwood, Go Ape is an adventure in the trees involving zip wires, rope ladders and other interesting obstacles. Before we all set off on our adventure, we had the all important safety briefing from a Go Ape staff member, who put our harnesses on for us. Mine was on very tight, especially around the back of my waist, but it was vital to be secure since we were very high up in the trees. The highest platform is 8 metres from the ground, which looks a long way down when you’re about to jump off!
There were a total of five sites, which all started with climbing up a rope ladder. This part was difficult in itself, as the ladders were quite wobbly. I ended up twisting round on the final ladder and was hanging from my safety harness. I wasn’t very far from the ground though, so it wasn’t too bad and I managed to climb up the ladder the second time. What was even more difficult during the day was the fact that it rained the whole time we were on our tree top adventure. Luckily I didn’t slip, but the majority of the obstacles and platforms were all made out of wood, which can get slippery when wet (all of us were rather wet by the end of Go Ape!).
The exercise involved in Go Ape is from having to lift yourself up. There was an obstacle called the Tarzan Swing, where you jumped off a platform and swung into a large net of rope. You had to grab this net of rope the second time you swung into it and hoist yourself up onto the left where the platform was. I just about managed to do it the first time, using my arms to pull my body up and my legs to climb. I had to put my left leg onto the platform and then lift myself up that way. My hands and arms were hurting a lot after the Tarzan Swing, but it was fun jumping off the platform and swinging across like Tarzan!
I thought I was doing rather well for the majority of the adventure, until I got stuck! There was another Tarzan Swing, but this time it was much higher up. It was hard enough jumping off the platform (I sat down and let myself fall rather than jump for the second one!). When I was trying to hoist myself up, I just couldn’t do it. My arms were in agony and if I carried on trying to pull myself up, I think I could’ve caused myself an injury. I am quite a weighty individual, and I can’t lift myself up. The strength is in my legs from running, rather than climbing and lifting myself up with my arms. It felt like a life time, hanging in mid air from a great height, feeling embarrased as people were waiting to do the Tarzan Swing as well. I think it was only about five minutes I was stuck for; a lovely man from Go Ape came to help me. He lifted me up onto the platform using a pulley. I was so relieved once I got onto the platform, but rather embarassed too.
In the end I shook of the embarrasment and carried on with the adventure. Luckily there were no more Tarzan Swings! We completed all of the five sites in 3 and 1/2 hours, which included the training at the start. It didn’t seem like we were doing it for that long and we were all soaked at the end. Of course it stopped raining once we finished Go Ape, but we were all given a certificate which cheered our dampened spirits!
I really enjoyed the Go Ape experience, despite getting stuck at one point. I’m in a lot of pain this morning, particularly on my upper arms. I had the computer desk to support my arms on while writing this blog. It was fun doing something different with work colleagues, and we all still had a great time despite it raining all day!
Happy reading and blogging!