Sunday, July 25, 2010
A Cherised Time !
As we returned to the hotel, we checked into for the YPO event, and met the group who would become our new friends over the coming days.
The event was not only intended to be a pure bonding event for parent and child, but also an education in Steven Coveys 7 Habits, and this is how our event started, with an introduction into these 7 habits. I had heard of these before, but never really taken the time to study them before. Here I found them extremely well explained and was glad to be doing it with my son - for him to also personally benefit, but also to see how these lessons can fit into personal, business and family as well.
My climb up was on the same path that Shaan had chosen, but fortunately I had the benefit of having seen his route and way up! For me, as usual, the climb up was not the problem. I even managed to look down a few times and pose for pictures and enjoy the view. My issue was from the top. My instinctive fear would not allow me to let go. A lot of support from all the group around and my sons encouraging voice finally gave me the courage, and eventually I even started to enjoy the ride down :)
Shaan managed a second climb, but a thunderstorm started while he was at the top, and this gave him a rather wet ride down with an added challenge for me, as the rain pelted my face each time I looked up, we relied on good clear verbal communication to make the ride to quick and safe.
From a day that had started out with the sun shining and a wry pleasant 90 degrees, by the time we arrived back at the hotel, we could see snow on the ground .......IN MID JULY !
That evening, as weather perked up again, saw some more lessons in the Covey principles for kids and adults alike, and I was so pleased with how Shaan was grasping those lessons which led to us having some deep conversations well into the night.
Another early start the next day took us rope climbing. More physical challenges and lessons in teamwork and communication were practically applied to high bridge walks and jumps off towers. These go down in my mind as great shared experiences with my son, and adventures we would never have at home. We had only each other to rely on, and I think we did great as a team!
The afternoon was rafting. A more demanding and certainly a more visually stunning setting than we had in Bali, but the temperature was dropping again. In the morning, a great desire to dip in the river had turned into a fear. However, our well qualified and skilled guides gave us all a great ride. Minor splashes acclimatised us to the water temperature well before we reached a running rapid where we were all asked to jump into the river and swim across it for the waiting hand of one of our guides. Shaan was brave enough to go before me, although shivering and with his teeth chattering, he was determined to accomplish the tasks set. As I saw him jump in and make the strong strokes to cross over, the downstream rush of the river was just too strong! The guide couldn't reach him and he floated down river further. Our whole team were great though. Positioned all the way down the river, a chain link of people reached out and caught him. Once I saw him safe on the opposite river bank, I couldn't allow fear from stopping me to try the same feat. I jumped in the river and it was bitingly cold and I really wasn't ready for the force of the river rush. I too swam towards the outstretched hand of the guide. I was sure I was doing enough and reached out to grab him, but I too drifted just too far and relied on the people chain to catch me.
I have to question when or why I would ever partake in activities like this, but for these specially organised events. These will become cherished SHARED memories for me and Shaan.
That evening was a magical moment for all the parent child couples at the event. After dinner, we set up a circle for a chance for parents to share their thoughts of the event and thank their children for their time at the event. It was a powerful emotional event, and a chance for everyone to communicate their feelings.
I'm writing this from the plane now flying from Denver as all the thoughts and emotions remain fresh in my mind. So it was only this morning that we all said hood bye to each other. I hope to stay in touch with a number of the people from the trip. Although we may never become deep friends, we share a bond from having experienced these days together. It is so hard to put into words the feelings I have, but this who were there and who read this will know exactly what I mean.
So in the end, I dedicate this blog entry to Shaan. Thanks again for being with me on this most memorable trip.