THE HIGHS AND THE LOWS OF HIGH ROPES
Awake for the day and the first point to meet together was at breakfast. Nice time, good delicious meal: scrambled eggs, maize meal, bread, some fruits, tea and coffee massaged our taste buds. The buses were ready to move to Raaswater-the venue for the 2016 ANLP team building exercises. I guess many did not know what lay ahead. As we travelled, excitement could be felt everywhere in the bus. Conversations ranging from politics, nutrition and people’s characters echoed.
The scintillating Elgro River, the subtle jumps of deer wondering what the noise of buses going by was putting a marvel to our eyes whilst the rush of adrenaline pumped in our veins. We finally arrived at the venue and immediately Neels and the team meant business. Starting with the introduction of the day’s event and not forgetting to stress the point of good communication, trust, listening to get through the task safely we began to put on the gear for the high rope activity. Thinking to hide behind, to go last and letting others go first I heard, “Who is afraid of heights? “They should go first”. That was Neels. Ouch…no hiding. We immediately lined up in front of our partners getting ready for the unknown.
The excursion continued as hesitation grew, seeing others wide eyed with fear. I thought, No way I am going up there! Nonetheless, I paused to think on why I came to ANLP and decided to proceed amidst the turmoils going on inside. Imagine a mother hen flattering her wings on a rope unable to maintain her balance. To add icing to the cake, the wind was blowing hard. Poor chicken! Yah you get the point…fighting for balance on that small rope, going against the wind and dangling back and forth. The struggle continued but with the helpful advice from our reliable coaches, Herman, JD, Neels and the adrenaline charged cheer leaders at the ground level, I made it. Tears welled in my eyes, I couldn’t believe what I just did. But wait, these were rather tears of joy and the realisation of the wow moment, I realised that I have so much potential in me yet I kept being my own obstacle. This is just one experience amongst many on the first day of ANLP 2016.
Another person was more like diving in the sea than walking on the high ropes! It was soothing to get some encouragement from up. It sounds more like “areas of concentration” just before writing a very difficult examination. With hands on the life line, one pace after the other, wobbling hand reached for the straight line and the deal was done.
But it seems this was not just a team building exercise as many realisation came out. These included:
- the power of encouragement from colleagues or team members in achieving ones goal;
- proper and timely instructions and adhering to them will lead to success;
- there is a resemblance in climbing high ropes with our challenges in life and careers.
I learnt there were no lows on the high ropes, only highs.