Outward Bound supporter raises funds by doing it tough
When I was growing up I could have very easily become a delinquent. One my lowest points occurred in primary school, I was a bully. I didn’t have a very peaceful home life when I was growing up. My stepdad caused a lot of grief. I had the great benefit of having great friends who I spent most of my time with outside of school. Fortunately or unfortunately my friends were the ones who seemed to get hurt the most. I would always take mucking around too far. My behaviour got to the point where my friend’s parents would not want me to hang around with their kids anymore. At this point I realised I needed to change. I didn’t know why I did what I did, it just seemed to happen and before you knew it I went too far.
When I entered high school, my behavior was diverted from being less physical to being more of a class clown. I had a lot of fun at the expense of others. After countless lunch time and Saturday detentions, suspension and meetings with the principal, I had a new focus - learning to think before I spoke and considering other people. Could I still be funny and have a good time without making it at the expense of others? I didn’t know how, it seemed impossible at the time. But it was my only choice other then risking getting expelled.
This is where youth leadership programs came into play. I found a program at school, REMAR, which I mistakenly joined because they used ship analogies and I thought the 3 day camp was on an old wooden pirate ship. Turns out it was in the backwoods of Yackandandah with not a great deal to do. Despite this, it was one of the best camps I have ever been on. I had so much fun and really got to learn about myself and other people that I thought I knew but as it turns out, I'm not the only one with a less than perfect life. The skills I learned and ways of looking at the world really opened my eyes. I decide I wanted to continue this journey.
The program taught me to reflect on my behaviour, consider and express my beliefs and those of people around me. Community service was a big part of the requirements to stay in the program. I thought community service was a complete waste of time. The idea of a 'warm fuzzy feeling' you get from helping others just seemed so ridiculous. It was a way to get people to work for free as far as I was concerned. I subsequently discovered that there is a great joy that you can get from helping others. There are many facets of the program which provided me guidance and skills which helped me keep striving to become a better man and leader.
Many things have happened since this simple beginning. Many I'm proud of and a few I'm not so proud of. In appreciation for the men and women who dedicate their lives to helping young people recognise their potential and in recognition of what these programs have done for me, I am raising funds to give this opportunity to other kids who otherwise might not be as fortunate as I have been, so they too can benefit from a youth leadership program.
What am I doing? Have you heard of the Tough Mudder course?
"Tough Mudder events are hardcore 18-20 km obstacle courses designed by British Special Forces to test your all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie..." consisting of up to 25 military style obstacles ranging from climbing a series of 3m walls to running through a corridor of live wires carrying 10,000 volts. Not to mention the other 23 various and demanding obstacles in-between.
Doesn't sound so tough?
Well I'm not doing it once, I'm not even doing it twice. I am proposing to attempt to run the course 3 times in one day, pushing the boundaries of my self imposed limitation. This will require every last bit of my willpower, mental grit and physical stamina to endure.