A short while back, I talked of white water rafting as one of adrenaline activities. I hope you have tried it already. If not, I want to show you where to start building your confidence. A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. You have to start from somewhere. No one ever became an adrenaline junkie overnight. Everything has a learning process. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you The High Ropes Challenge. This is the best hurdle for beginners. It can be done by anyone regardless of your physical fitness, size or weight.
You do not have to travel far for a high ropes challenge. Kisames Giraffe Camp is less than 30km from Nairobi CBD. It is located behind the Majestic Ngong Hills. Here, you will meet the camp manager called Roy who is also a trainer and Team building facilitator. Kisames Giraffe camp presents a rope course that you will not find anywhere else. It also offers you with other activities such as wall climb, balancing, scary bridge crossing, zip lining and manual swing among other interesting activities. If you are looking for a place to enhance bonding among friends or a company team building, then this is exactly what you need. Below are some of the benefits you are guaranteed after participating in a high ropes challenge at Kisames whether as friends or as a company:
Communication and Team work
Apart from ziplining, all the other activities require team work. The first thing the facilitators do is to divide a large group into small groups. The goal is to assist each other through the obstacles. To do this, the group has to communicate. They have to figure out the easiest or the most efficient way to overcome the challenge. If it's an obstacle that requires only one person in the group to handle, the rest of the team guides that one person. They offer direction, brainstorm on how to do it the best way and communicate to the person doing it in unison. By the time an obstacle is overcome, everyone has learnt that they need each other and that the success of the group is dependent on how well they communicate and work together.
High ropes challenge enhances bonding among friends and colleagues. People get to learn about each other's strengths, weakness, fears, courage and limits. The feeling of being helped through an obstacle is in itself soul satisfying. By the end of the day, people feel attached to one another. They also feel indebted to one another and the bond grows stronger. During the rope course, participants laugh, freak out, scream, and even cry together. This establishes the emotional attachment derived from the course. This is where you find people who are not tight in friendship becoming best friends. Motivational cheering that comes from the team makes the participant feel encouraged and know there are people excited in his/her success.
Ever heard people say 'trust no one'? Our lives are characterized by a lot of disappointments. We are not able to trust anyone except God and probably ourselves, and even then sometimes we tend to let ourselves down from time to time.. Distrust is an enemy of friendship and teamwork. At Kisames, there are activities that you engage in that are dependent on how well you can trust your teammate. For instance, there is an activity where you stand on top of a raised platform and you have to fall back freely. Your teammates are supposed to provide a soft landing for you by meshing their hands together. They form two queues and hold each other's hands tightly. There is no chance of you hitting the ground. To allow yourself to fall back and land on the hands requires total trust. How sure are you they can handle your weight? Are you sure they are not playing games with you? What if you miss the hands? What if you underestimated the distance? These are some of the questions that only trust can answer satisfactorily.
It's no doubt high ropes challenge burns a significant amount of calories. The whole course involves muscle flexing. In some activities, one is supposed to lift their own weight. Muscles come in handy when balancing on the ropes. The whole body is worked out in the activities. After completing the course, one is able to tell if they are fit or unfit. Muscle aches are inevitable. High ropes challenge works well to convince one to hit the gym.
It's normal to want to avoid things you fear. And it works - in the short term. The problem is that you don't get the opportunity to learn that the things you fear are not always as dangerous as you think. You need to gradually face the things you fear! The process of facing fears is called exposure. Exposure involves slowly and repeatedly facing things you fear until you feel less anxious about them.
Most people are height phobic. This is the major 'fear' faced here. Walking on the ropes that are meters high and not sure if they are able to support your weight calls for courage. In the beginning your legs tend to wobble.. After sometime, you realize that the ropes are strongly tied and there is no room for mistakes. This makes you focus and forget about how high you are from the ground. If you do this repeatedly, the fear of heights will be a thing of the past.
After the high ropes course, Roy gives people 15 cards. Everyone is supposed to write the things they value in life. He then narrates an emotional story and requests people to throw away a card after every pause. The story takes you deep in thought and you learn so many things about yourself. You discover things that you value and care about that you did not think you didt. Just as Joss Whedon puts it, “Bottom line is, even if you see 'em coming, you're not ready for the big moments. No one asks for their life to change, not really. But it does. So what are we? Helpless? Puppets? No. The big moments are gonna come. You can't help that. It's what you do afterwards that counts. That's when you find out who you are.”
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