The last month in the build-up to my DofE Scotland Diamond Challenges has been about three attributes, preparation, investment and commitment.
Delighted to say everything on track to far with Tall Ship adventure in June which is literally days away and I am organised and packed! That’s explained how much I am looking forward to it and taking the work of DofE Scotland Diamond Challenge out to sea!
The Tall Ship which will I be sailing on is called the Lord Nelson with the Jubilee Sailing Trust. It promote the integration of people of all physical abilities through the challenge and adventure of Tall Ship sailing.
The Tall Ship will be challenging in every respect, rising during the night to start my Watch, cleaning toilets, pulling ropes. I will have the opportunity to develop seamanship skill, learning about steering the ship, navigation and climbed the rigging to work with the sails. The weather is likely to be unpredictable too so the mentality will be put to the test too.
Also for the month of May, I have spent time sorting out my 2nd Diamond DofE Challenge which I will be teaming up with a true sportsman. He will be reveal in my next instalment! One of the obvious changes in my disability over the years is the complexity to handle my balance and spasticity. These combinations are making it challenging for me to undertake a physical climb as my body is coated spasticity entwined my endurance. Rab has seen it over the last 15 months since we’ve met so he knows how to adapt, what need to be done and carry on as normal!
Rab (Robert) Bell previously served fifteen years in the Army (Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders). Since leaving, Rab has gone onto crave various careers and one them in the outdoor pursuits and is qualified in many areas of the outdoor with young people at the forefront of his fulfilment. He is a qualified National Navigation Awards Scheme (NNAS) course provider and assessor. Also a qualified Summer Mountain Leader registered with Mountain Training Association and accredited Duke of Edinburgh Expedition Assessor up to Gold level. He is also an adult instructor with the Army Cadet Force (ACF).
Over the few months, Rab and I have worked to assess what I can do, and Rab is lending his support these Diamond Challenge ‘Julie’s challenge is her disability, the complexity of her walking gait and of course, her deafness. Julie can tire quite quickly due to the physical exertion on her body, this means not only will it be physically demanding but mentally too. However knowing of Julie’s previous achievements in the outdoor pursuits arena, I know her determination to succeed will get her through’.
I have been keeping Barry Fisher, Director of DofE Scotland up to date of my preparation for the Diamond Challenges, and he simply summed it up of what I have to go through and give pencil considerations to everything, “Wow – amazing to hear just what a difference the climb down makes in contrast to the climb up – but, as we have grown to know, your preparation for your challenge is impressive”.
In the next instalment you will be able to download my Tall Ship log and I will reveal my 2nd Diamond Challenge with the Scottish sportsman.
In the meantime, if you feel inspired by my DofE Diamond Challenge appeal, please donate generously to help more young people access and complete the DofE Award in Scotland.