August 23, 2016
Firstly I would really like to send the biggest thankyou to WineWorks for giving me the opportunity to take part in Discovery course at Outward Bound. I have to say it the most challenging thing I have ever done in my life, both physically and mentally. There were a few tears shed and I had to use pure grit and determination to get through. But guess what – I did everything!
Before I set off on this adventure, I watched all the YouTube clips and went through the Outward bound website – I can safely say I was a little un-prepared for what was to come!
Upon arriving at Picton I was quickly introduced to the fellow members of “Baton Watch 617” as soon as I had picked up my bag off the conveyor belt! It’s funny the 1st thing that entered my head was “Oh no their suitcases are bigger than mine – have I got enough gear” ha ha
Before I knew it we were running around Picton along some beautiful trail runs. I was amazed by the scenery and was really enjoying getting to know my team. Then boom – I am hit with my 1st major challenge! We come out into a bay and the boat we had put our suitcases on was out at sea (about 25 metres away) I have only been learning to swim for 6 months – my heart was pounding so fast. I explained my situation & my team supported me and encouraged me all the way. I did it!!
By the end of the week they even had me jumping off the high pier into the sea – I still can’t believe it! I do plan to do this more often – although I think I will wait for the summer! Such a huge confidence boost. Sailing was an interesting experience – especially as there was not much wind that day. We all soon became experts in Rowing. I can’t explain the feeling when you are working solidly as a team, you can feel the sea breeze on your face and then dolphins start swimming alongside the boat. It was magical and I felt extremely lucky to have been there. I was also given the privilege of being the captain on the second day. They trusted me to steer them to the destination and give the orders. Which again boosted my confidence.
The 6.15am PTE sessions were challenging but my pre-course training did pay off. I even enjoyed running into the sea after each session. The Outward Bound staff were amazing – always so encouraging.
The biggest challenge for me was Rock-climbing, when I got stuck for over half an hour on the rock face near the top. I remember crying out “I can’t do this, my body is sore, I have no energy left, I just can’t” I don’t know what came over me but with everyone shouting encouragement and thinking about why I was there, I suddenly got angry and started to climb. I was at the top in minutes! I stood there looking out at Anikiwa bathed in sunshine and all my teammates cheering at the bottom – amazing. Then they only asked me to climb it again! Which I am proud to say I did in a very quick time. I loved the abseiling back down – it was so much fun.
The Mountain……. This was the longest day by far. We set off at 8.00 in the morning and didn’t get back until 8.00 at night. We tramped up the mountain through the bush carrying backpacks which were as big as me. I remember feeling elated when we reached the top. My legs were sore and a few people had blisters forming. The downhill took longer than we expected and we were soon tramping in the dark and the rain. We were all extremely exhausted and were so happy to be sat eating a roast dinner back at base. Then came the bombshell – “Baton watch, your night isn’t over! Tonight you are going solo”. I thought this was my limit mentally – I cried (again) along with a few of my team mates. But it was amazing how we all took a few minutes to accept what was happening and we all went “Let’s do this” It was at this point I realised how strong I actually am. Especially when one hour later I was on my own in the middle of the bush in the dark and rain setting up my fly tent.
There were lots of opportunities for reflection in group settings, challenges and especially during my 2 nights solo camping in the bush. It’s amazing actually having the time to just sit completely uninterrupted and think. I learnt a lot about myself during these times.
By the time we got to the High Ropes course my confidence was really high. I am still in shock now that I just scrambled up the trees and attacked all the obstacles. I nailed it! I even did the leap of faith on my first try. I realise I have been holding myself back so much when I am clearly capable.
My favourite activity was the kayaking. Everyone was in high spirits and I loved seeing parts of the Pelorus River where “The Hobbit” was filmed.
On my last day I even completed a 9k run in the pouring rain– the furthest I have ever ran in my life. I will never forget the rest of the team, who had already finished waiting in the rain and running the final 1k with me. I cried at the end with complete shock and pride. I now understand why they call this course “Discovery” I have discovered that I am so much more capable than I thought, I am strong, smart and can pretty much do anything I set out to do! (Even if I do cry on the way) I have gained so much from this experience and I know my future will be richer for it. I also have made some amazing new friends from Baton watch 617. I am making so many plans – which include mountain biking the Queen Charlotte track / tramping the Tongariro Crossing and visiting Japan. My two new mottos from the course – “Suck it up Princess” & “Worry less, live more”
Thankyou Wine works for sponsoring me and allowing me to experience something so special. I feel so lucky to have been given this opportunity and I am extremely grateful.
Becky (Rebecca) Lambert
Sales & Logistics Co-Ordinator