Throughout my entire personal and professional development, there has been but one role model who has inspired me to achieve better, to work harder and overcome obstacles that may be in my way. I have emulated his ways, wanting to be just like him. Throughout my childhood he has been my hero and he will always be my hero. He has been there for me to support every wrong decision I make, I have relied on his support to get me through many things because I know I can take advantage of it. The hardest working man I ever knew..
Day 3 of more cold, wet and determination, this was going to be the last day of the initial assessment but thankfully I will have next week to practice more power boating. So for me, was a promising start into new opportunities, the fact that it relates highly to my potential career pathway in the Royal Navy helped motivate me even more. However, this day started with showing off our technical competency in a power boat; by demonstrating everything we that we have learned so far. So the pressure was evident, I was falling back into this serious mode and I was finding it hard to relax. Perhaps, this can be taken to as a learning point, maybe I need to learn to control my emotions internally. Maybe I should consider taken up more introverted sports such as yoga and meditation. Although, this did not show on the outside, I was very much anxious and stressed on the inside. However, it was clear that we were as a group, and not individually, were working cooperatively to achieve the NGB. The group actually helped me, slowly, find composure and to upload my morale. The social environment was friendly and I could not ask to be in a better group. My place in this group was isolated outside of power boating. Yet, I felt a part of the group dynamics and a crucial player amongst the group needs and outcomes. Nevertheless, the day continued and already were hours into the session, I do not understand the concept of time, it had seemed to have gone relatively quickly, and in no time we were back at the centre to see to the best part of any day; food. Afterwards, it was time to get back in the powerboats, the most satisfying thing about launching power boats was the use of the bow and stern rope lines to get out of small spaces, nothing like driving were getting out of some parking spaces can be ridiculously hard for many. We had to approach unique features on the Plymouth Sound within 2 metres. That seemed easy but to do so whilst fighting the tide and trying to stay in the same position was difficult. I could see the other group attempt to do the exact same thing only with a different feature, I could see how they drifted off when they approached the feature from different angles, and I used this as a learning point. I felt like I was on a different page to others within the group, I found my learning to be very different and separate from the rest and I could not help but question whether others had been feeling the same thing. As the days session of power boating came to end I could not help but want to do more, maybe an expedition along the coastlines of some distant country or whether having this experience would further help learn more about myself and my capabilities, perhaps this may lead on to a safety boat qualification that may help in the advancement of my potential career. The opportunities seemed endless. As an outdoor practitioner or rather outdoor experiencer, I find the urge to do more, understand more and contribute more to the outdoor community. Perhaps, this can be attained through developing new research or exploring unknown areas. A romantic fantasy I know, but it begs the question, will my version of what I know of the outdoors change into something unique? Perhaps, my qualification that I have achieved, maybe irrelevant to others in the future; maybe the outdoors will soon be more about how we connect and build as community rather than conquering mountains and gaining NGBs.
Day 2 of power boating, for many on a similar course this would be their last but thankfully we have another two days on top. It was the end of November, how can I expect to be warm and dry whilst power boating? Of course not, extra layers and a determined attitude seemed to be the best and only option to get through this day. The conditions were dramatically changing one moment a ray of light would provide warmth and the next an overshadowing cloud would bring a shower of cold wet and miserable rain. But I was not held back by the weather, when practicing man over board it provided a physical challenge that positively contributed toward my learning experience, after all smooth seas do not accompany great power-boaters. The day continued on and I could not help but think about was how hungry I was, the tasks were in good practice but seemed to be repetitive, containing areas such as mooring, anchoring (…which is pretty simple), small manoeuvres which I may need more practice to iron out the simplest of mistakes but I believed I had the grasp of and man over boards which was fun but had caused my hands to become wet and numb. Is it time to call it a day? I was beginning to feel bored, challenged at first but nothing was stimulating my attention, I was falling back into a state of boredom; I could not help but pay close attention towards the cloud forming over Plymouth and hoped for a storm to occur, the waters were already rough and choppy but by now I want to experience what it feels like to learn in an environment that pushes my limits. Thankfully, we as a group decided to take a trip past Plymouth Sound to experience the waters that were blockaded by the breakwater, I’m excited and anxious at the same time, if it is all too much, then this can go wrong very quickly. As a group it was promising to see everyone enjoying their trip towards the breakwater, especially those who were driving. The most unique aspect of high speed manoeuvres was the awareness of the tide, somehow after the seventh wave, a large wave would dramatically occur, so to counter this it was wise to accelerate appropriately. However, if your sense of humour relates to mine then you know that, accelerating appropriately is not going to happen, from which, caused the boat to crash into the large wave and thus, drenching everyone on board. Even though this may have been out of humour, it somehow connected the group dynamics closely where the increase of morale was clear. So far, I feel like I have achieved something that may be insignificant to some. But, the element of working towards a level 2 in power boating has had a lasting impact both personally and professionally, where I feel I have developed emotional, social and intellectual skills.
Day 1 of many more, power boating was something that I have never had the opportunity to try out. Although it seemed appealing the thought of failing the assessment and seemed daunting, so I hoped for an easy day, but I knew that I was going to be thrown in the deep end of learning, my course leader values leading and educating forms of practical engagement in the outdoors, his research demonstrates this and so does his mannerisms when involved. I was highly surprised when he took upon a democratic approach; he offered my group of two, to make the choice of how we would like to be taught. Perhaps in the light of simply enjoying power-boating as leisure activity, we would support his ways but in sight of the pressure to attain a professional qualification out of this, we supported an instructional approach. For myself, I knew that either way the experiences offered on this day would have a positive impact. However, I did find it difficult to comprehend this instructional behaviour from where repeated instructions where at no use to me when I was focused on the task at hand; such as mooring the boat and small manoeuvres but on other hand it helped myself take on high speed manoeuvres more rapidly. My thought process seemed to be tunnel vision, perhaps this was just a reaction to the pressure to succeed, and if I know anything about myself, it was my intense fear of failing. It was clear to me that my course leader was there to improve not only on our technical skills but how we grow as outdoor practitioners; I knew that the qualification at the end of this programme was not that important. Additionally, it was more encouraging that the session would be designed specifically to our own needs but in line with the RYA course specifics. The groups were split into two groups of two powerboats to share and overall the group seemed to have high morale even though the weather was against us, as always. Although, I found my views to be rather self-orientated, because I really did want to achieve a level 2 in power boating. I knew that others would find tasks in their own unique way to be difficult perhaps because they learn in a different manner. It was hard to attain a muscle memory that can control the power boat in different ways, physically. I struggled to, at first, to simply drive in a figure of eight. The accelerator was not compatible to me; where I would either over accelerate to underestimate it. Uniquely, where I struggled to simply drive in a figure of eight I found it very easy to drive backwards in a figure of eight, which did make my course leader laugh. This definitely shifted my attention into a more relaxed mind set opposing my seriousness the overwhelmed me. Conversely, power boating for myself was of low challenge where I further felt the want to do something that required more attention and more adrenaline. Perhaps, this was due to the fact that power boating is very easy, once you know how to drive it. In summary, power boating today has had its frustrations, challenges but new learning curves and motivation to achieve more throughout the syllabus.