Some of our previous participants are preparing to embark on a Level 3 programme this year - a wilderness canoeing expedition around the Isles of Scilly (originally it was due to be in Sweden, but due to ongoing travel restrictions we've changed the plan to closer to home!)
Taking part in Level 3 is all about taking responsibility for making things happen, to earn a true sense of achievement.
It is going to take a lot of hard work and prep to prepare for the trip - and the more the team put in, the greater the pay off for them!
Chloe has been brave enough to share her story with you…
Growing up I had a few health problems, but they all seemed unrelated, and treated and dealt with individually. It wasn’t until 2011 that my health really declined. Since then, I have gone from one hospital admission to the next, from one surgery to the next. Since 2014 I have had many operations, multiple respiratory arrests needing to be resuscitated and I have lost count of how many times I have been admitted to hospital. In 2017 someone finally saw me as a whole and not just the part of me that fell under their speciality. This led to me being diagnosed with a genetic disorder which was the connecting and complicating factor in all my health problems.
Before I became unwell I was active and took part in many things, I used to run, snow board, dance, karate and take part in lots of outdoor activities and socialise with friends. I felt like that had all been taken from me as now I was afraid to try. I struggled with fatigue so often I couldn’t find the motivation. I also suddenly felt very different to everyone, and I didn’t always know how to explain what I was going through as for a lot of the time I didn’t really understand everything myself.
For a while I was just surviving going from one problem to the next, but I wasn’t really living.
In 2019 I had another surgery and for a while things were a bit more in my control and in October 2019 I went on a five-day program with Climbing Out.
From this experience I gained so much. Including friendship, confidence, understanding and inspiration. I was challenged but in a way that I felt safe to try and I achieved so much that I didn’t think would be possible anymore. I might not be able to control my health, but I can control how I deal with things and not let it dictate my life too much.
Over the last few years I lost a lot of confidence both in myself to do things and in my body to enable me to do things. My first programme showed me I can still push myself and my body and it isn’t always going to let me down. It has helped me remember who I am and what I enjoy and what I want to do. When opportunities come up now, I don’t instantly think I can’t do that, I now try to think of ways that I can, so that I still get to live my life.
This last year has been difficult in addition to everything COVID and having to shield since March last year I’ve had some more health problems and need more surgery but at the moment it can’t happen.
When Kelda asked me if I would like to take part in the Climbing Out Level Three programme: a wilderness canoeing expedition, I immediately thought I would like to as this would push me and help me to develop further and build on everything I have already learnt and continue to challenge my mindset. I then spent some time thinking of all the things that I would need to overcome and think about in order to take part and started to feel a bit overwhelmed, but after talking to Kelda