Fit For Life Octant – Phase 1

Phase 1 of an octant must be about trying new things and should last for a couple of hours. These are the adventures I had to achieve Phase 1 of the Fit For Life Octant (many of which I may have mentioned before!)…

Phase 1: Try a water sport (White Water Rafting)

I’m not a good swimmer, so any sort of sport on water worries me. I thought trying white water rafting at Lee Valley White Water Centre may be a good start as I thought I may not get in the water too much, and it shouldn’t have been that deep!

On 11th March 2012 I tried out this sport. Before getting in the raft we were taught how to hold the oar depending on where we were in the course. Being a manmade course it gave us all the experiences we could expect on a natural river and how to deal with them. I was taught when to paddle, when to paddle harder, and when to hold the oar upright, away from the water and in a streamline position.

Thus sport was a good workout for my arms and shoulders, and I even managed to stay in the raft for the full session.


Phase 1: Take a lesson in skiing and a lesson in skydiving

On 3rd March 2011 I tried my first skiing lesson and first skydiving experience at Xscape Milton Keynes. The skiing lesson took place inside a large indoor slope. After being kitted out the first lesson was just learning to walk attached to skis. The lesson started on a flat piece of land practicing moving the skis and turning your feet in to stop. We then climbed the slope on a convaybelt to try keeping balance going down the slope. It was difficult to stop, and it felt like a panic as I went down the slope, focusing on the fact I needed to stop.

Later that day I tried my first sky diving experience in Xscape’s indoor airfix wind tunnel. The challenge here was to hold your body in the neutral position to keep you in the middle of the tunnel. This was tough to learn as there wasn’t a lot of time in the tunnel. It was great to experience how it would feel to skydive.


Phase 1: Try archery and clay pigeon shooting

I had tried archery once before as a Brownie, but in this session on 3rd December 2013 we were taught the importance of aim as we moved between lots of different shaped and sized targets. The further the target, the higher we aimed.

On 1st March 2014 I took part in a session of clay pigeon shooting. Again, this session helped improve my aim. There were two different types of shot, in the first the clay was shot directly in the air in front of me. I followed the clay with the gun, and when the clay reached its peak I shot. (Though there was the odd occasion when I didn’t actually have my finger on the trigger!) In the second type of shot the clay would be shot from underneath the hill we were standing on and moved quickly away from me. This was tougher, but I did hit a few of these. I was surprised to find the ricochet of the gun didn’t have much impact on my shoulder.

Of the two sports I found archery more difficult, but I enjoyed the challenge of this more so would choose to do this one again.



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