Caroline Wood
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Caroline Wood - Loch Eil, Scottish Highlands, 1980

1980. Having recently sat my Highers and with studying on the back burner I was lucky enough to get a place on Outward Bound. Three weeks away from school and the confines of a desk was very appealing!
I already enjoyed the Outdoors although three very wet weeks at Loch Eil tested my resolve.
I went on the course not the most confident or physically adept of people and I found all of the activities challenging.
On our four day expedition from Kinlochhourn through to Glendessary in torrential rain I was swept away in a river in spate and lost a boot. The group dried out in a nearby bothy and I had to walk out in my sodden trainers. I remember almost falling asleep on my feet as I was so tired but I completed the trip.
The high point for me was jumping off a ledge into a waterfall in Glen Nevis - I remember looking down and seeing the swirling water below and every instinct telling me not to jump but I did it and after the stomach lurching feeling of plunging into the water I was so proud that I had done it.
I returned from Loch Eil with a lot more confidence in my abillites and with a "can do" attitude and of course with a real love of the outdoors. This has allowed me to compleat all the Munros, attempt the Skye Ridge traverse,summit Kilimanjaro and run the London marathon as well as become a competent runner later in life. All these activities require fortitude and determination, all qualities which were developed on Outward Bound.
Mental toughness has also allowed me to cope with the serious illness and death of my late husband and has allowed me to rebuild my life.
I owe Outward Bound a great deal and I hope it continues to inspire particpants for many years to come.