Friday, 19 October 2018

Taking the plunge

Ten years ago I embarked on a new course with my free time, learning to sail a boat and ultimately helming in four Blind Nationals events, two of which I won. I have never been much of a sportsman, and am generally pretty aprehensive about entering a new and unfamiliar environment with nobody I know to lend moral support. That first day, turning up all alone at a dock in southeast London truly felt like leaping from a high board into an unknown pool. Little did I know that I would never look back, and whilst I don't sail as much as I would ideally want to, I made friends and enjoyed experiences I never would have otherwise.

And here I am doing it again. Having thought about it ever since I abseiled down a wall in Exmoor, two decades ago, I am finally going to take my first proper steps, or perhaps more accurately find my first handholds, learning to climb.

I've scoured London for the best climbing centres, not just for the variety of their walls or the quality of their instruction, but for somewhere where they will feel comfortable and confident teaching a visually impaired person whilst accomodating their guide dog. It could have been a tough ask, and may still prove to be, but for the time being I think I have found my venue, with the Castle Climbing Center near Finsbury Park. Not only that, but afraid that I night get cold feet and put it off for another ten years, I've made the necessary booking and, all being well, should be found somewhere on the end of a rope in about three week's time. Wish me luck...     

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