Hangovers and heights for Hearts and Heads
When we did our first challenge, a wall climb, for Hearts and Heads, we reported how our initial fear turned to pure exhilaration and we didn’t want to stop. And the hope was that history would repeat itself this time round.
What actually happened was that we discovered almost straight away that we’d made a gargantuan miscalculation. You know when Withnail says, “We’ve gone on holiday by mistake”? Well that. And like Withnail and I, we realised that alcohol would soon need to feature in our plans.
It didn’t help that we arrived late – all routes to Sheffield Ice Centre closed, it seemed, by the half marathon – and fuzzy headed after a fantastic night out with the girls. And as I shuffled onto the first section, a thin rope with just another thin rope to hold on to, I was suddenly gripped with terror.
Looking back at Lisa as she stepped off the platform, I saw a look that I had only seen one time before – on the face of a fellow passenger on the sea plane we thought was about to fall out of the sky. And I’m actually not talking abject terror, more of an “Oh bugger” moment.
As we huddled on the first platform, we reminded ourselves that we were doing this for Robyn. If brave, beautiful Robyn gave us the motivation we needed to step off that first platform, she couldn’t quite eliminate the fear – amazing as she is. And we felt that fear pretty much all the way round – as we watched someone in front of us bailing out and as the course climbed inexorably higher meaning that we not only had our fear of heights to deal with but we also had to find some reserves of strength to get up some of the steeper stages. Still, the bird’s eye views of the closing stages of the half marathon reminded us that things could have been a lot worse.
Other things that helped:
1. Robyn. Again
2. Our team of supporters: Helen, Katie, Lou, Rachel and of course Fiona, who inspired Hearts and Heads. They clapped and cheered each and every time we reached a platform – no mean feat in itself – took some amazing pictures and, crucially, ensured with their presence that we’d see this thing through to the end. We couldn’t lose face after all.
3. Finding out there was a bar nearby.
And so it was that we found ourselves on a platform approximately 40-50 feet above ground wondering exactly how we were going to get down. We had envisaged a controlled abseil – nothing more challenging than we’d done before.
Apparently, the way to get down is to walk off the platform and free fall until some kind soul puts the brakes on just before you go splat. It hurts and it isn’t elegant – think Bridget Jones and you get the picture.
There was one good thing about landing in the gravel arse first and flailing about like an upturned beetle though – it meant we’d finished the course. Unlike before, we had no urge to repeat the experience and politely declined the opportunity to go round again. But we did get that same sense of achievement and, once we’d downed a couple of emergency shots (thanks Helen!), wellbeing was restored.
Unlike the other charities we support, Heartline is quite small so every penny helps. Your generosity has been phenomenal and you helped us to raise over £250 in just under a week. Thank you so much for helping to make life a little brighter for families dealing with heart conditions xxx