Going over the edge!

Trip Start Jun 20, 2011
Trip End Jul 09, 2011

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Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Friday, June 24, 2011

     We began our Friday by boarding our bus at 7:15AM for a 2 1/2 hour bus ride through the Blue Mountains to arrive at our Full On program for the day. We arrived around 9:30AM and were met by three New Zealanders (kiwis) who served as our instructors for Full On. The student s gathered in for a series of talks, instruction and activities. One aspect of Full On could be summed up with the mantra of Carpe Diam. It was discussed to not allow fear or failure to dictate your choices.

     Later we took a short bus drive to a beautiful area in the Blue Mountains. We began by putting on our helmets and harness. We received a short instruction on rappelling (abseiling). I was in the second group so while the first group headed out for their descent, our group stayed behind for some games and lunch.

     Finally it was time for my group to go. Together we took a 20 minute hike through the wilderness. The hike took us along a cliff face which had formed an interesting overhang; almost cave-like. The hike ended at the edge of the cliff that plummeted down 180 feet. The view from the top was spectacular. It was a tremendous view of the mountains. Ultimately, I was the last person to make the climb down. The guides strapped me in and slowly, very slowly, I began to back down off the edge of the steep cliff. I never once looked down and tricked my mind into taking baby steps back so that I would actually get myself off the edge. I few steps more and my body was perpendicular with the cliff face. It was quite an awakening to go down about 10 more feet and just look up to see the guides atop the cliff and to know that I was working my way down from there. After about another 20 feet that cliff face that I was walking down dropped away and I was now dangling clear off. This is how I made the remainder of the descent slowly lowering the rope through my harness as I lowered myself down. Hanging there was an impacting view out of the wilderness. When I finally made it to the bottom and my feet safely touched the ground I was so overcome with joy and an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. What a great adventure!

      Following our climb we took a bus ride back to the Full On facility. The students had another 90 minutes of discussions and activities. They enjoyed one in which they each had to break a piece of wood. I did not participate in this year, but this year my students were cheering me on so ultimately I gave it a go and broke a piece of wood too. This was a great bonding experience for us all.



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