Wednesday, 17 April 2013

A Challenging Week...

Have had a busy Easter holidays with the children, managing to fit in two challenges, as well as a quick taster session in a sailing boat, more archery plus scaling the 10 metre climbing wall at Grafham Water Centre. Feeling like a bit of a pro at this old climbing malarkey, no need to tell anyone that I rely on red and green jug holds to make my way to the top.

Challenge 10 - Modern Egyptian Belly Dancing

Shimmied my way through some belly dancing moves in a taster class with a few of my former work colleagues last Thursday. We were taught by Emma, who specialises in modern Egyptian belly dancing. 

It was fantastic evening of fun, with lots of wriggling, gyrating and giggling. Very tempted to sign up for the next course as it was such a good lesson, resulting in beautifully relaxed shoulders and a toned tummy, ready to fill with curry later on...

Thank you for a lovely evening to Emma, Kate, Sarah, Helen and Bev who joined us for the curry later.

Challenge 11 - High Wire Course 

Visited Aerial Extreme in Bedale with my sister Em and son Joe on Saturday, to have my first ever go on a High Wire course.  Whilst Joe and Em had both done this kind of thing before, it was my first time.

The FIRST High Wire on the course.
After harnessing up and listening attentively to the safety briefing, I climbed the ladder to the first platform, ready for the off...  

This took a while as once there, I stood on the the platform, stared at the two slender metal wires stretched between the trees, looked at the rope above it and wondered what on earth I had signed up for. 

Joe went first, and after watching my ten year old son complete the crossing, there was no welching. I looked ahead not down, stepped carefully onto the wire and inched my way slowly across. Very slowly.

The first step onto the next obstacle was equally scary; this was a wooden log, as you can see in the picture,  with ropes hanging down from above to help you balance.  Again, after much hesitation I stepped onto the log, and reached for the first rope and made my way over, step by step, very slowly.  

For me the hardest was probably the fourth obstacle, a rope bridge with 6 ropes hanging down to hold on to whilst you crossed, but 3 of these had large blue buoys attached. Although I managed to walk onto the bridge up to the first buoy, I didn't quite know how to get round it. My anxiety over how the buoy would behave, made my legs shake and it took about ten minutes to take the next step, grab hold of the buoy and step round it, to the next rope. I felt a huge sense of relief and achievement when I reached the next platform. 


After that I managed to scramble or shuffle my way around the course, gripping on tightly as I did, so that by the time I climbed down the ladder from the last of the tree top obstacles,  I was relieved to be on terra firma as my hands were starting to cramp.

Joe finished the tree tops course first about 20 minutes before me; Em kept pace just behind me, offering welcome words of encouragement for every obstacle completed and was the official photographer for the occasion. 

The final part of the course was a 13 metre climbing wall; this led to the sky-walk, a long rope bridge across to the final obstacle, the power drop.  No matter how safe you know you are, jumping off a platform doesn't come easily, and each of us had to push ourselves to take that final step to finish the course. 

Felt exhausted at the end of this challenge but pleased that I'd achieved my goal of finishing, as when I'd started the course, I really wasn't certain that I'd make it to the end.  

11 out of 20 challenges complete:

The challenge is to do 20 new things by the end of August 2013; whilst each activity is something I couldn't have done before my transplant, some of them are more of a challenge than others. 1,2, 6, 8 and 11 have been the toughies so far...

  1. Climbed My First Mountain - Cadair Idris
  2. Learned How To Punt
  3. Learned How To Hula Hoop
  4. First Road Bike Ride
  5. Taken Up Tap Dancing
  6. First 5K Trail Run At Wimpole Hall Parkrun
  7. First Archery Session
  8. Learning how to climb on an indoor wall
  9. Zumba
  10. Belly Dancing
  11. High Wire Course
Some ideas for the next 5 months: sailing, skipping, flying an aeroplane, ice or roller skating, walking Hadrian's wall, kayaking, climbing Scafel Pike, fencing, I'm open to ideas...

A difficult decision made by one family nearly 20 years ago transformed my life when they gave me the gift of a new heart. This challenge is about acknowledging that gift, celebrating the life I've got and raising vital funds for two fantastic charities along the way...  

Please help me achieve my goal of raising over £1,000 for each of my two charities; your support means the world to me and makes a big difference to local heart patients.

Follow me on twitter  @angie_ridley  #2020HeartChallenge 


  1. With the high wiring I found it hard to believe that Mum could do the high wiring. I was there myself. I thought that the high wiring was the hardest challenge yet. from Joe

  2. Bless you Joe, it was hard wasn't it but we both did it!!