We might be smiling, but we have no real idea what we are getting into at this point, except for a harness. When I suggested a day off without the kids at Go Ape, I was thinking it would be a great way to mark my new found freedoms, now they are both at school, as the day looms I am less sure.
Our Go Ape instructor at Sherwood Pines, Nottingham is John, he is brilliant, he’s a TV stunt man. He tells us about his work, on Casualty, The Bill, Inspector Morse to name a few. Part of a stunt man’s job is to test whether stunts can be performed by actors and what safety gear is needed, so we immediately feel like we are in really safe hands. John’s also very at home in nature and really helps us to distract us from our fears so we can appreciate our time in the forest.
It is a long way down, but climbing those rope ladders is by far the worse bit.
Once you are in the trees, you have the routine of clipping and unclipping your safety cables to keep you grounded in the now and stop your mind worrying.
Once you learn to trust the harness to hold you, you can relax and enjoy. Mr A is heading for the bit where you jump off and rope swing into a net.
The view is amazing, I can only explain it as feeling a bit like a squirrel or monkey might feel. Or like Jane in Tarzan?
The course really helps to build your confidence. We really look forward to the zip wire at the end of each of the six sections, some of them are really long and the feeling of whizzing through the forest is amazing. Here comes Tarzan.
Mr A is less keen than me on heights, but he is quicker to pick up how the course works and takes it all massively in his stride. He gets to go first on the adrenalin junkie bit, jumping from the apple picking tower, the second highest point in the course, on a rope swing. Except this time there is a bit of a drop before your harness registers, so it feels a lot like you are free falling. Like when squirrels do this:
This doesn’t capture half of the feeling….
I clip myself to the rope swing and call down to John to give me my instructions without even looking down. It is scary, but also a huge adrenalin rush as you hit the net.
With that out the way, we’re feeling quite euphoric, it is back to enjoying our time in the forest, John convinces me to try the tightrope hands free, just for a little bit. I really enjoy swinging through the trees, it is a really liberating feeling.
You can see the satisfaction at completing the course right there in our faces!
Then it is off to the pub for lunch before school pick up.
Rate the date
Mr A said: I give it an 7.5/10 – She definitely took me out of my comfort zone or this would have been higher, we got on well and I hope to see her again, though this time it’ll be my turn to choose where we go!
Mrs A said: I give it an 9 out of 10. It was great to have a date that took us into the outdoors and to face a new challenge. He was brave, if he was out of his comfort zone he hid it well. I just hope he doesn’t expect me to do anything too scary for the next date, I’m worried John gave him some ideas.
Disclosure – the tickets were a gift for writing a post about Go Ape earlier this year.