How I failed at Go Ape
Go Ape is something I've wanted to do for a long time. Although I may not look particularly sporty or active (spoiler alert: I'm not!), I loved the idea of swinging through the trees and scrambling up rope ladders. I'm not scared of heights and I'm not particularly prissy. Whenever I see celebrities cry in the rope ladder in the jungle, I shout "Man up!" at my TV. You wouldn't catch me wailing that I can't do it, oh no! I'd be straight in there. Erm... except that is exactly what I ended up doing.
Things started great. At first, I was worried I'd be too fat and the harness wouldn't fit me, but when I got there I noticed that the guidance said it's suitable for people up to 20.5 stone, so that reassured me. Of course the harness fit fine and it wasn't as uncomfortable as I expected.
Our instructor, George, was really helpful and explained everything really clearly. We had a practise with clipping our harness onto the wires before we headed over to our first of five zones. They start really low to the ground and the first challenge was to climb up a short rope ladder, cross a tightrope (while holding on!) and then zip wire down. Easy peasy! Once we'd reached the bottom, George sent us off to explore the rest on our own.
At the second zone, we climbed up a larger rope ladder, which was a bit wobbly, then crossed a rickety bridge before taking on the Tarzan Jump: Swinging from a platform into a big cargo net, which we had to scramble up to reach the problem. This is where my problems began.
This will be a surprise to nobody, but I have zero upper body strength. I cannot emphasise enough how weak my arms are. Once I caught hold of the net, I tried to climb up... and I got stuck. The net was (obviously) moving around a lot and I couldn't pull myself up at all. I was left just clinging onto the net until a staff member shouted up that he was going to help me. Poor man had to winch me up himself!
After that, I was completely shaken. I wasn't scared of the heights. I wasn't scared of falling. I was scared that I would slip and be unable to pull myself back up onto the course. I did manage to complete the third zone but it was through tears, with awful light-headedness and nausea. After that, I decided to sit the next two zones out and Rich insisted on not leaving me alone so we ended up heading back to return our harnesses.
I still got a little certificate but it felt a little empty since I didn't complete the course. I was so annoyed with myself but there was no way I could continue. I've set myself a challenge though- I'm going to work on my upper body strength and return next year where I will, hopefully, finish the course.
Until then, tell Ant & Dec not to bother calling!
If you're braver than me, buy Go Ape tickets here.
Go Ape provided me with complimentary tickets as part of their affiliate programme. Affiliate links have been used in this post.
Bloglovin' // Twitter // Instagram