Tag Archives: abseiling

Training Day: I even surprised myself!

abseilingnina and Cecily.jpg 

Lately I have been feeling decidedly unable.

 

My legs have been feeling weak and wobbly. My ears have been hindering my social life and my eyes are seriously contributing to the black hole that is my apartment.

 

So, it was no wonder that I was feeling very nervous about doing the training for my abseil. 

 

I know I say I am nervous before I do anything “exciting,” but considering the disappointment I felt when I had to be helped to the bottom of the QV1 building last year, and my aforementioned wobbliness, I really didn’t think I would cope.

 

The training takes place at a quarry where the scariest thing for me was not the actual abseiling down the rock face but walking the path to get there.

 

There are so many rocks and trees to trip on, it’s a miracle I did not break anything.

 

I don’t think this has anything to do with me though. Possibly it was the fact that I was being held up by the back of my harness and thus being moved around like a marionette that did it. I am certainly not complaining either.

 

Cecily was absolutely no help at all. I really need to get myself an off-road walking frame.

 

While everyone else had to trudge up the mountain I was chauffeur driven up in the Ute. This was no picnic mind you, the ride was so bumpy that I bopped my head on the roof of the cabin at least twice. Luckily, I was already wearing my helmet. 

 

Thank goodness I only had to “walk” along the ledge at the top.

 

I really love working with Urban Descent. They don’t presume to know the best way for me to do things, they ask me. They probably would even have let me go by myself if I wanted. Yeah, like that was going to happen!  

 

In the end, I did three abseils. A 20 metre, a 30 metre and another 30 metre where I had to lower myself with my arms by going down a rope instead of walking down the rock face.

 

The idea of this freaked me out. I was sure my arms were not up to the challenge. But they were, and so were my legs.  Damion couldn’t help saying “I told you so!”

 

I was amazed and in such a good mood that it hardly even bothered me that I heard someone say, “you’re such an inspiration” as I went over the edge.  I was doing what everyone else was doing, and I had help.

 

There was a lady there who is terrified of heights but she was doing it. I’d say that is far more inspirational, especially when you consider that I’m only doing it for the attention! LOL

 

It is so annoying that I get so much credit for being disabled. It’s embarrassing and to be honest very discouraging.

 

I had learnt last year that a successful training session did not guarantee success on the day. Even though they tell you that abseiling a building will be easier. So, I’m still a bit nervous.

 

I needed to do it again this year. My ego won’t be beaten by a mere 160 metres. However, after this I think I’ll hang up my harness.

 

If it doesn’t rain I might be ok and, at least I get to wear real clothes this year.

 

Wish me luck!

 

XOXO 

 

Abseil 2.0: A New Hope

 nina-abseil-1

 

The abseil for the Perth Children’s Hospital Foundation (formerly known as Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation) is on again. 160 metres (40 stories) down the QV1 building in Perth’s CBD. Just me, a safety rope and the relief that my vision impairment stops me from seeing what I’m really doing.

 

I must confess, I almost opted out this year.  Last year’s effort didn’t go the way I hoped, resulting in me spending the majority of the descent perched on someone’s lap. Don’t get me wrong, it was a very nice lap, but I wanted to use my own legs.  I felt like I had failed not only myself but everyone who had contributed to my fundraising. Would anyone be willing to take another chance? And what if I become one of those friends that people avoid because they’re always nagging you to support their cause?

 

But then I realised, it’s not actually about how I did it but the fact that I did it at all. And the fact that I did it is largely due to being cared for at PMH.

 

During my childhood, I spent a lot of time in that hospital and barely a year went by without having some surgery or other. My greatest claim to fame (as far as PMH is concerned) is that I have been a patient of every department except oncology.  Of course, at the time I hated the place as i came to associate it with misery.  But now as i wobble around, type this blog or do anything really, I realise that I can do these things largely due to the “mean” doctors and nurses who treated me there.

 

Well dear reader, i have become one of those friends, and I ask you to help me to raise as much money as possible for the foundation. You may not have been the frequent flyer that I was but we’ve all been touched by PMH at some point either personally or vicariously.

 

Last year with your help I raised $1,680 which went towards the purchase (at a cost of $1.7 million) of a super-duper machine (sorry to be so technical) that assists in the diagnosis and treatment of potentially thousands of kiddies. The funds for this year will go to the project of greatest need and will be decided on later in the year.

Donations can be made at: https://abseil2017.everydayhero.com/au/nina-marie-butler-abseil-for-pmh-foundation 

 

 

 

I often find myself thanking my lucky stars that I was born in Perth in 1984. A place where a disability is not seen as a curse as in some countries and at a point in history where I have access to technology that means I can live a relatively “normal” life.

 

In the unlikely event that I ever compete in Miss Universe and I get to answer the question “What is your greatest wish” I’d say “Stuff world peace! Just give every child the same opportunities as I’ve had.”

 

Might as well, it’s not like I’d win. I’m not built for bikinis.

 

XOXO

 

PS: stay tuned for photos and details of this year’s attempt coming soon.