I am so proud of myself, deciding on a huge career change at my age (21 of course, well x2.....) has been a pretty big thing. Especially in an industry where everyone my age is uber qualified with years of experience to bring to the table. I however am bumbling along with the teenagers who are just starting out on this road. Joe, my boss (who must be all of 26 years himself) keeps asking me if I am okay with hanging out with teenagers at work all day....
....and my answer is always the same 'hell yeah'!.
One of the most important aspects of my job as Course Leader was spending time with the students, and I loved it. It was by far the best part of my job. Yes I was their teacher, but I developed some good friendships also over the years. Now, at work I just desperately hope I am not one of those 40+ year old 'try hards'!
It helps that the teenagers I have been working with have all been in the same position as me, learning something new, from scratch. And it is scary. Especially when people lives are literally dangling on the end of a rope you have set up. We worked really well together, supported each other and we can trust each other and ask each other for help. Age just doesn't matter.
So, this weekend we had our High Ropes Assessment at Forest of Dean Adventure. I have been volunteering with them for some time, gradually getting experience and developing the knowledge of all the different ropes, kit and set ups. It has been challenging and great fun. The zip wire set up being my biggest challenge by far.
The assessment involved setting up all the activities, including the dreaded zip wire, running a session and performing rescues. Gulp. I didn't sleep much the night before. Running the session itself I was fine with, years of teaching experience was on my side there, it was the set up and rescues that had me worried.
However, I woke up in the middle of the night with a brain wave. The biggest fear I had with the zip wire set up was dropping all the stuff off the platform (which is about 40ft up a tree). So, I worked out that I could do 90% of the set up, down on terra firma and then literally go up the tree and clip each component up. Did it work? Oh yes! 100% correct and bosh, all done, including ladder set up in 20 minutes. Happy? I was bloody elated.
All in all the day went really well, Meg and I passed our assessments with flying colours, I only had one glitch where during a rescue I had attached myself to the belay with my cows tail and as I went to walk away to climb up the tree realised I was still attached! Whoops. But, you know what, if that is the only mistake of the day, being uber safe, then I'll take that thank you very much.