Lesson 97 on Facing up to fears (or not! )
Wheelchair Boy soon got very fed up of being pushed around. We trailed along behind the rest of the group struggling over stony paths, grassy banks and pebbles. On the second day we were halfway to the picnic spot at Carisbrooke Castle, battling our way across a longish lawned area, when he decided it would be easier and quicker to hop. It was!
After lunch it was time for the Castle itself. Wheelchair Boy could be manouvred around most parts, but of course everybody wanted to go on the walls. He agreed without complaint that it was beyond him, but if I accompanied some of the others, then there would be enough adults to let everybody else go on the ramparts.
I have no head for heights, but when we climbed up the first set of stairs it didn’t look too bad, though the ramparts were very narrow. I hadn’t expected that. You could see over both sides. They also went dramatically up and down. To me they seemed alarmingly exposed.
My group leapt on ahead like mountain goats, as I noted with alarm that the drop on the outer side of the wall was getting greater and greater. I was definitely well out of my comfort zone. And I was trapped. There was no way I could chicken out. I was duty bound to stick with my mountain goats and there was no way they were giving up until they had gone all the way round!
By the time I made it round, trembling and clutching the frighteningly open safety railings, I was the one needing the wheelchair!
Next day it was Alum Bay. Wheelchair Boy was happy, because not much wheeling or hopping was required. There was a chairlift down to the beach, then a boat trip. Nightmare on two counts for me!
But I was saved from both terrors. Sergeant CoachDriver got lost again and so many people felt sick by the time we arrived, that Mrs FirstAider and I had our very own Walking Wounded group who couldn’t be trusted not to throw up on the chairlift. We walked down the many, many stairs to the beach.
By the time we got there, most of them had perked up and, unbelievably, were looking forward to a boat trip. To my relief, one little person was still rather green about the gills. She and I sat comfortably on the sand in the sun, admiring the multicoloured cliffs, gratefully watching everybody else bobbing off over the choppy waves.
Sometimes life can feel really good.