Sunday, 1 September 2013

Wow - all done!

For a while there, I wasn't sure that I'd manage to complete my aim of trying out 20 new activities this year but I have done it! The self set criteria was that they all had to be new activities that I'd not done before and couldn't have done before my heart transplant; it has been a busy (and expensive) year which has included:
  • testing my powers of endurance through activities like walking Hadrian's Wall, climbing a mountain and even the 5k trail run at Wimpole
  • overcoming my instinctive fears of height and open water by climbing, sailing and high wiring
  • undertaking child hood rites of passage that were missed and only now caught up on such as skipping and hula hooping
  • trying out a few new exercise classes with spinning and zumba - spinning wins!
  • testing a few moves with tap and belly dancing 
  • having lots of fun!
It has been amazing to try out so many new activities and a positive way to celebrate the gift that I was given 20 years ago. Now I'm into my 21st year of healthy post heart transplant life, I want to: spend a bit of time getting better at some of these activities, finally learn how to swim and keep trying new things.

My final two challenges:

Challenge 19: Spinning Class
Normally I avoid aerobics classes like the plague but as spinning involves a bike, albeit a static one, it sounded much more promising.  The instructor explained the three different riding positions: standing, sitting (yes done those before) and hovering somewhere in the middle.  This I could do even without my glasses on.
It was an hour of fairly solid cycling to the backdrop of loud music, with lots of standing, sitting, hovering and "sprinting".  I managed the whole class with no stopping, although my sprint was probably about the speed of everyone else's easy ride!  Could feel my heart pounding in my chest and the sweat pour down my face; this was much tougher than your average fenland cycle. Came out feeling really energized and wanting to go back for more...

Challenge 20:  Kayaking with the kiddies on the Cam.

31st August was a gorgeous day for my final challenge, a kayak trip down the Cam with my family. We opted for two double kayaks, Keith and Bel in one and me with Joe in the other. It was a balance of skills as both Keith and Joe have kayaked before; Bel has too but only a couple of times.
Standing on the floating deck, waiting to get in the kayak, I felt a little surge of my non-swimmer anxiety but pushed it to one side.  Joe and I climbed into our boat and instantly I knew it would be fine; with such a low centre of gravity on a shallow slow moving river, you'd have to go some to capsize it!

All we had to do was paddle. All the blogs I'd read had made this sound much more complex than in reality it was, so it didn't take long for Joe and I to get up to speed.

We had a few races with Keith and Bel, bumped into the odd punt & kayak and splashed our way down the river, going for synchronised strokes where we could. It was a fantastic way to spend the morning and something that we will all do again as a family.

All done!  
  1. Climbed My First Mountain - Cadair Idris
  2. Learned How To Punt
  3. Learned How To Hula Hoop
  4. Road Bike Ride
  5. Tap Dancing
  6. 5K Trail Run At Wimpole Hall Parkrun
  7. Archery Session
  8. Learning how to climb on an indoor wall
  9. Zumba
  10. Belly Dancing 
  11. High Wire Course
  12. Learning to skip - now over 100 skips in 2 minutes
  13. Segway ride
  14. Tandem bike ride - bringing up the rear!! 
  15. Insane Terrain - obstacle course
  16. Flight in a Tiger Moth
  17. Hadrian's Wall National Trail Walk
  18. Sailing
  19. Spinning Class
  20. Kayaking