As far as you need to


Earlier in the school holidays, some of the Jones family headed off to one of those forest high ropes courses. Ah, the things you do as a parent to keep your kids entertained eh? 😉 Luckily, or perhaps, unusually, the British weather was dry and not too hot.

The issues I have with the above – climbing activities that is, not our children 0or the weather 😁 – is twofold. Firstly, I’m okay on a dog walk, but if the Zombie Apocalypse requires a lot of clambering about, I’ll be in trouble, being somewhat of a duffer. 😉 Secondly, I’m not good with heights. There’s something about being high up that just does not do for me. Even in very tall buildings, going up to the glass is a little too much. Still, who said phobias always made sense?

Here’s the strange part: as a kid, the nearby village had come together to build an adventure playground for the local kids. The climbing activities seemed, well, looking back, I guess Health and Safety didn’t really come into it. Although I do remember one rather high wire activity behind removed after the local numpty feel off. Here’s the thing: no safety ropes, harnesses, soft bark chipping, or crash pads.

As I stood sensing my feelings hedging towards nervousness, I thought: what’s the actual risk here? Maybe a bruised backside if you fluff the zip line landing. Provided I keep my safety lines clipped on, wouldn’t I be okay? Rather than look at fear as something to keep me safe, what if I looked at it more as a warning? A not so gentle nudge to sense check things.

With that, my mind drifted to getting out dressed in Lynn mode. I thought on all the things in that situation that were, in many ways, out of my control. Traffic issues, who I might meet, bigots, failed alphas needing to validate their sexuality by yelling, the Toilet Police, etc…. But, if I could put those risks and worries to one side, could I do the same for the climbing?

I thought on the idea of what I’ve said to others about getting out en femme or coming along to Chameleons: Go as far as you feel okay. Go at your own pace. You can always go back if you need to and try again.

The first visit to Chameleons

So this isn’t about the happy memories of enjoying the rope swings, slipups, and distinctly unglamorous landings, nor the chest beating of conquering one’s fear. Moreover, I think it’s about taking a calculated risk. Acknowledging that some things are scary, but why let you hold you back? Big Girl Pants on, and here we go.

L x


  1. Phobias are weird things. I am with you on being nervous about heights. I’m generally OK if I can’t see the ground or how far it is below, so you’ll generally find me huddled at the back of a glass lift, even if it makes no sense. I don’t like open stairs or mesh walkways in industrial plants either once you get more than two storeys above ground.
    But here’s the weird thing, as Susie I constantly want to push myself out of things I would normally consider my comfort zone. I explore different places, go down roads and paths I’ve never seen before just to see where they lead, and when the internalised male voice in my head mutters about it being about time to go back, the Susie part is always ‘just a bit longer; another half hour won’t hurt. I want see where this leads.’ That pushing the edge also happens back home. If I knew L was going to be back by a certain time I would normally be changed back and cleaned up well before that time. More and more though, I’m leaving it to the last possible minute, holding onto being Susie as long as possible.
    You’re still not going to get either me or Susie on an Alton Towers ride though.

    1. Given AT’s occasional safety issues, that may not be a bad thing. Oddly, I’m mostly okay with rollercoasters. Blackpool’s old school Grand National and suchlike are great fun, IMO.

      I’m with you on open stairs, though. Even though the gap is too narrow to fall through, there’s something about them I just don’t like.

      Maybe with getting changed, it’s about making the most of the time you have. When I listen to T friends talk about them wanting the moment to last, it feels like when we’re forced into Box A or B, that that’s where the issue is. By not having the space to choose, we push on the time that we have.

  2. A good post and a good analogy. I always hope that girls who are out and about like you and me can encourage other girls still in the nervous stage to take the plunge. I love taking girls out on their first trip – I feel honoured and thrilled to be part of such a memorable day for them.

    As for heights, I love heights … usually. When I see a skyscraper I immediately want to take the lift to the viewing platform and gaze at the vast city panorama stretched out before me. Or stand on a mountain top and see to the distant horizon. But only when there are safety rails. Put me on a wobbly ladder or a bare cliff face and I start blubbing for my teddy!

    Sue x

    1. Being lucky enough to be involved in a person’s first time out is rather special. It’s great to see them blossoming and hopefully, coming to terms with things. With Chameleons I’ve seen that a few times and it never gets old.

      So skyscrapers, yes, but ladders no? Sounds like the old joke about terra firma. The firmer the ground, the less terror 😁

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