[Everyone’s got a vice, a bad habit, something they know they need to change. Unfortunately, everyone also has a million excuses why they just can’t do it. Not anymore. Every month we will be following a different CollegeCandy writer as she takes on a personal challenge. Last month Charlotte tried to stop biting her nails. This month, Tiffany is going to attempt to conquer Outward Bound. Can she do it!? Could you?]
Day 28, I never thought that I would meet you! I thought that I would be long gone before you ever arrived. But here I am and it’s a glorious feeling to see you; well, not completely glorious. I’m still pretty sore after the half marathon we ran yesterday. As with most of the trip, I didn’t know that the personal course challenge meant running 13.1 miles through the woods and up a mountain but I haven’t made it 28 days without expecting Outward Bound to kick my butt on a daily basis. Apart from putting my body through the ringer every day, Outward Bound managed to teach me invaluable life lessons. Here’s what I learned:
1. Mind over Body. This little mantra is the KEY to doing anything on an Outward Bound course. I never realized how much of an affect positive thinking really has on a situation. Negativity is more time consuming and, honestly, who likes a negative Nancy? Instead of whining and moaning, I had to learn to motivate myself and push myself which was actually really hard to do at first. But once I got in a positive mindset things got that much easier for me.
2. Let your haters be your motivators. Now, your haters can be you or other people but, either way, hating is not good. I found that when I was having the most trouble pushing myself to continue hiking or bush pushing it helped to get a little angry at things I have thought about myself or what others told me I couldn’t do. It’s that extra push of proving yourself or another person wrong that can get you over that mountain (literally).
3. It’s OK to ask for help. I’m a twenty-first century girl, so I love to be independent but at times that mentality got in my way. When I felt like I couldn’t go on instead of silently suffering, I had to learn to ask to slow the pace down or take a breather. I was afraid that others would be annoyed with me but others always voiced that they felt the same way.
4. Vulnerability is OK too. At night we always sat down and really got to know one another. The woods are unlike any other setting to learn about another person because there is nothing to distract you from them. And in the woods there is nothing for you to hide behind either. Many times I found myself telling the group things I had never told to those close to me at home; secrets that I thought would make others look at me in a negative light. But you know what? No one did. Being vulnerable with each other just worked to deepen our relationships.
5. Do something crazy! This whole trip was crazy for me. I’ve never been out of my comfort zone for so long. By going on this trip, I’ve expanded my life experience and hobbies in a major way. And like that saying goes, you’ll always regret what you never did.