Gary Benson
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Gary Benson - Eskdale, The Lake District, 1991

05 D62 B1 E 7 E4 E 45 E9 B680 536823883673
My course was EYE 3 in July 1991. I was sent on my course via the outdoor education center in east London where I was training to become a canoeing instructor. Aged 22 they said it would sort me out. I traveled up by train and arrived late. Everyone else was in the dining room and was getting to know each other. A big table with lots of strangers with different ascents was quite daunting. I introduced myself sat down and heard a cockney accent from a girl across the table. Her name was heather and lived in London too. We chatted about where we lived and had a lot in common where we worked where we went out to pubs and bars and worked out that I had probably seen her travelling to work or had visited her office a year or two previously. Others on the course were trainee sparkies from Manchester a bank worker from the Isle of Wight and mix of all sorts from all around the country. Our course leader was called Rachel and did a great job of keeping us safe and out of trouble. The climbing gave us personal challenges also group challenges es when a group member twisted her ankle and we had to carry her back to the minibus. On the unaccompanied expedition I was nominated to be group leader which probably brought me back to earth and enabled me to further my Career in outdoor pursuits. Outward bound gave my life a new direction not only helping me become a canoeing instructor but also in my personal life.
I still speak to heather every day as we started dating when we got home and continued to go hill walking together. We also got married and have two kids. We have been married 23 years and still have aspirations to get outdoors when possible. By the way Heather did not vote for me to be group leader.