Tag Archives: outdoor education

Challenges and Challenge Courses

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I loved challenge courses as a kid and as I have gotten older I have spent time working on and operating them. But, somewhere along the way they began to lose their value because I was so comfortable on them. A few weeks ago I found myself leading a group of highschool girls to The Blue Ridge Learning Center’s challenge course. I knew it was going to be a great day because the weather was BEAUTIFUL with temperatures averaging in the mid 50s. What i didn’t know was that I would be so engaged and challenged myself. This day was supposed to be mostly for the high schoolers. I was just there to make sure everybody was doing what they were supposed to and assist the other staff, right? Wrong. Shortly after arrival I found myself in a harness and helmet, flying through the air on the challenge course. This particular challenge course was like nothing I had ever been on before. It was the Hogwarts of all challenge courses. It was a three tiered challenge course, took us over 2 hours to finish and ended with a zipline to the ground. Some of the elements physically kicked my butt.  Mid air swinging monkey bars?? Nets you have to crawl across? I have to jump how far to the next platform? Needless to say I was sore the next day.

This day spent at the challenge course was a reminder that no matter how comfortable I may feel with something there is always a new way to be challenged. These last two weeks have been challenging. Just when I thought my calendar was perfectly set, life threw a few curve balls at me. A few curve balls actually. However, these challenges have served as an opportunity for me to grow. I haven’t quite processed these last 2 weeks, and specifically the last few days, but what I am remembering are the words of Martin Luther King:

“The true measure of a (wo)man is not how (s)he behaves in moments of comfort and convenience but how (s)he stands at times of controversy and challenges.”

I hope you find rewards in your challeneges and a silver lining in every cloud.