Why Go Ape is like becoming a parent!

Today I went to Go Ape Delamere with my daughter and her friend for her birthday. We did the Treetop Challenge: 4 high rope courses set in the tree tops of the forest: ladders, bridges, swings, and zip lines. At the tender age of 44 I have NEVER done anything like this ever before. I read up on it, reread the safety info, checked the paperwork and booking info. I mentally psyched myself up for it…. I was quite nervous. The team at Go Ape were great, made me feel very comfortable, even though I was still very nervous

After the safety briefing and the test course we were on our own; headed up a wobbly ladder into the tree tops. Trusting our lives to a steel cable, a couple of carabiner clips and common sense!

I was well out of my comfort zone. As I stepped out into the tree tops, I had to follow the girls,  I was responsible for them. I barely felt able to look after myself let alone two 12 years olds! At each obstacle I watched them fearlessly deal with plummets and swings and wobbling bridges.

And at each one they encouraged me, helped me face my fears and take a few leaps of faith!

Sometimes I took the easier route, sometimes I took the extreme route. At one point I had to ask for help. I just couldn’t climb the obstacle. The Go Ape staff nearby gave me a little lift, a gentle nudge in the right direction.

Feet firmly on the ground at the end after a 400m plus zip line, it occurred to me that this is a bit like pregnancy and being a new parent….

Taken out of your comfort zone.

Stepping into the unknown, researching the unknown and educating yourself.

Learning from the experience of others.

You sometimes have to make decisions without really knowing what the outcome might be.

Trusting your instincts and sometimes deviating from the path others think you should follow.

Pushing yourself to overcome anxiety, fear, nerves.

But also learning and recognising your limits and knowing when to ask for help, accepting it when its offered.

Sometimes, you collapse in a heap at the end of the day, look back and think “what on earth happened today!?”

Today I was doulad through my Go Ape experience by may daughter and her friend. At every step they were there with gentle encouragement, suggestions of alternative routes and techniques. Though there was some affectionate heckling.

As your doula through pregnancy, birth and your early postnatal days I can support you; to feel more confident, to step forward and make the decisions that are right for you. Each step of the way supporting you, with care, evidence based knowledge, practical support. Gentle encouragement to explore your options, ask questions, make plans, recognise your strengths.

And its highly likely you won’t end up with pants full of bark chippings at the end of the day! Hopefully!!