As I sit with my legs hanging over the edge of this mega monster drop (death) slide and stare down at the small crowd (and by small I mean tiny, they are a million miles below me) of friends, children and casual onlookers, I realise it has been a full fifteen minutes since one of the wives from our annual Uni gathering has dared me to have a go.
I feel physically sick. My knees are wobbly, my stomach queasy and common sense is screaming;
You don’t have to do this. Life is too short. You have nothing to prove.
Indeed I do have absolutely nothing to prove. Especially as she who threw down the gauntlet has bottled it and retreated to the staircase. I watch as lots of small children, including my own squeeze past me and blithely drop off the edge like happy, carefree lemmings.
So why am I still up here? Could it be because I fatally caught the pleading eye of my husband. The man that faces all his fears head on, except for the mountain of washing piling up in the Room of Doom. Could it be because as a mummy to four little boys I feel I am duty bound to set an example of female strength and bravery. Or could it simply be that I’m glued to the edge of this slide and can’t move either way?
But I know there is only one way down and at some point before this day is over I will be going over the top.
Just not yet.
Another ten children pass me. I’ve now had time to study the technique.
Climb the stairs, sit on the edge, drop off.
Climb the stairs, sit on edge, drop off.
So here goes…
Nope can’t get past the drop off bit.
Crap, crap, crap. I’ve been up here way too long and sod it that mobiles now have video functions.
When did motherhood/old age turn me into a total yellow belly? Admittedly I was never first in the queue for rope swings across croc infested rivers or skateboarding blindfolded down stair rails, but I definitely did one of these slides at Blackpool’s Mr Peabody’s Play Palace a hundred years ago.
Right deep breathe, here goes, no, yes, no …. oh my god. Expletives abound.
Nano seconds later I am down to a small “yeah” from the crowd. And despite trying to defy gravity one metre into the drop and literally turning in mid air to clamber back up a smooth vertical wall, my limbs are in tact. Dignity? perhaps not.
And do I feel good? Do I feel proud of myself? Absolutely NOT. It was hideous. No joy, no excitement, just heart racing fear and horribly shaky legs. In fact it took a full ten minutes before I started to feel normal again. And the video play back, well in the 4 seconds of footage all I noticed was the size of my thighs and how badly my roots needed doing.
Note to self. Being pregnant and giving birth is the ultimate test of endurance, courage and bravery.
There is no need to prove anything with mega drop slides.
If you too would like to test your courage levels then there are many other mega slides are available. This particular one is located in the fabulous grounds of Woburn Abbey Safari Park which is a completely brilliant day out and well worth the pennies. My favourite moment was with the black bears. They are amazing and now I fully understand where the phase bear hug comes from. In fact it took all my willpower not to ignore the umpteen warning signs to stay in the car and rush over to give one a squeeze, truly gorgeous xxx