NLP & The High Ropes: The High Cat-Walk
The High Cat-Walk is often the first High Ropes activity that you explore on NLP Core Skills. It can be enjoyable and a little scary. And you learn a lot about yourself from it.
The High Catwalk on NLP Core Skills
Even before you head down to the Ropes Course area we explore the style and the attitude which makes for an enjoyable session and a valuable learning experience. This includes the explanation that the ropes, harnesses, etc. which are used to ensure your safety can support a weight equivalent to four race horses – or a minibus!
In this preparation we also discuss the Challenge by Choice.
At the Ropes Course you then get a safety explanation from the centre’s qualified instructors and they ensure that you are correctly kitted up in your safety gear. Then your harness is tied to the belay by your instructor or ‘safety person’.
Now you can begin your climb. First a few steps up the ladder. Then, if you choose to go further, you use the rungs that are set into the tree.
If it’s your first climb you may experience mixed feelings – exhilaration, fear, anticipation. And, of course, as a good NLPer you may already be using your NLP skills to recognise how you are dealing with the challenge.
If you decide to climb to the top you manoeuvre yourself around the tree and onto the cross-beam. Then you stand looking at the 20′ traverse along the beam to the opposite tree. Rationally you know it is completely safe but this usually has little affect on the excitement or ‘nerves’.
You are now standing about 30 feet above the ground – as if you are standing on the roof of a double decker bus sitting on top of another one. Yet it usually seem even higher when you’re up there – which provides food for (later) thought and discussion about how our perceptions are distorted by our emotions.
This situation could be a pressurised one – and that is why the Challenge by Choice principle is central everything we do on our courses, including the Ropes Course. You choose what you want to do – whether this be climb a few steps of the ladder, climb further up and touch the cross-bream, walk across – or do some of the ‘sillier’ things which some people opt to do (see the ‘optional extras’ below)
Not only do you choose but everybody else, instructors and team members alike, fully and unquestioningly supports the choices you make. We think this is a key difference between how we do with outdoor activities and how they are often done. There is a big difference between supporting somebody and pressurising them – something which we explore on our courses.
‘Optional extras’ on the High Catwalk
Once at the other side you have a new choice-point. How to come down. You could climb down using the rungs or maybe you go back to the centre and step out into mid air. Or hand upside down by your legs in the Koala descent.
And then you begin to float down on the safety rope experiencing relief, or exhilaration, or sadness that the fun is over (till you do the next activity) – or a blend of all of these.