Recently starting her career as a teacher, Rearne Bray looks back on her Summit to Sea adventure in Team Watson from the start of this year. Thanks to Rearne for the photos.
In your own words what is Summit to Sea?
Summit to Sea is an opportunity like no other. It is an experience that will challenge, uplift, expose and build every part of you. The only way to approach a course like this is with immense positivity and optimism.
Why did you decide to do Summit to Sea?
I chose to do Summit to Sea for three reasons. Firstly for my love of the Australian landscape. To be able to hike, canoe, raft and mountain bike through some of Australia’s most mountainous terrain was an honour and the most rewarding way to experience such profound places.
The second reason was to prove to myself and others that I was capable of overcoming not only the physical but mental, emotional and social challenges posed throughout the course.
The third reason was timing. I had just completed my university degree and Outward Bound was the perfect adventure for transitioning to full time work. I also hoped to gain leadership skills that I could take into the workforce with me.
I was challenged early in the expedition – and by that I mean 3am in the morning. The physical elements had drastically changed in a matter of hours during the night and we were left exposed to the harsh work of mother nature due to heavy rain and gale force winds flinging away our pegs. We had to get up to find the MIA pegs and were drenched. Finding the humour in a situation that was out of our control helped to keep spirits high and build the camaraderie of the group.
Most epic day?
The most epic day I had on course started with a slight speed bump, which happened to be my doing. However, after sorting the navigation dilemma Team Watson smashed out a 21km day. It felt so rewarding to positively contribute to the navigation and as a team we were on fire. Communication was seamless, breaks were efficient, and the energy was high (almost matching the temperature!).
Summit to Sea course instructors, Matt and Juanita, demonstrated such outstanding leadership while ensuring there was an equal amount of fun! Their unrelenting commitment and humility set the tone for the entire group. Their support and guidance ensured my Outward Bound experience was enriching and left me with a sense of achievement and self-confidence.
What/who helped you push through all the challenges?
I was fortunate enough to create a friendship with a fellow team member early in the course. Our like-mindedness encouraged a relationship based on honesty and integrity. My way of coping with the demanding conditions was to share my thoughts. The friendship and constant conversations kept me mentally balanced. However, there was always a healthy level of competition to build drive and determination!
Team Watson was presented with many challenges large and small and at times they came close to defeating us. Early in the course I was at war with myself trying to find the balance between delegation and empathy. Similarly, the group was also experiencing their own difficulties, which was stalling us from reaching our “performing” phase. However, our ability to reflect on and improve our communication allowed us to feel accomplished as a team. Leadership was a crucial element of Summit to Sea and Team Watson very quickly learnt to recognise each other’s strengths in order to reach our full potential.
Anything that you learnt which helps you in your day to day life?
Although I’m not tying a clove hitch every day in order to have somewhere to sleep, I now approach each day with a sense of resilience and ambition. Both qualities that were part of my personal growth on course. I strongly believe that attitude plays a significant role in life and having the power to adjust your outlook on any given situation puts you at an advantage.
Words don’t usually resonate with me, yet Outward Bound’s motto “To Serve, To Strive and Not To Yield” will remain with me for a lifetime. The difference being that I have lived by this motto and experienced the results.
Finally Rearne, can you give some recommendations for others who want to embark on the adventure?
I have no hesitation encouraging anyone to experience Summit to Sea. To get the most out of this course I recommend following the suggested exercises mentioned in Getting Ready for Summit to Sea – A Brief Guide. I hope that everyone can be as fortunate as me to walk away feeling physically and mentally stronger and hungry for adventure!
Ready for your next adventure? Summit to Sea starts in January 2019 – immerse yourself! Enrol now!
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