Yup! Read that again… you’re not dreaming!
This was certainly one of the most exhilarating and nerve-wracking experiences we’ve ever done – but my goodness, it was exciting and gave us both an adrenaline rush!
And I’m here to tell you that YOU can do it too!
On Saturday 11th September, Josh and I finally did our charity abseil down the National Lift Tower for The Lewis Foundation to help them raise money for the incredible work they do to support adult cancer patients in hospital – I’m well overdue writing about this (over a month late) but I wouldn’t be Nicole Navigates if I didn’t share this incredible local experience!
And it’s right here in Northampton… right, enough chatting, let’s get right into it…
Why did we do it?
A question many asked us prior to our experience… Why are you doing it!? You must be crazy!
Yup, we are, but as I mentioned above, I really wanted to support a local charity that is particularly close to my heart.
Back in 2018, my dear Grandad passed away due to cancer and although he was based down in Kent, I saw how the hospital where he was based was struggling for bare necessities to keep him comfortable (to the point that my step-Grandma was having to bring in extra cushions herself to keep him comfy)
It was horrible seeing him without his creature comforts so it got me thinking how much an amazing charity like The Lewis Foundation would have been a massive help – then it got me thinking further: how can I help?
I’ve been a big supporter of The Lewis Foundation since I was introduced to Lorraine back in 2016 and I’ve always tried my best to fundraise for them through blogging events, but something about my Grandad’s passing made me appreciate the work they do even more.
On another note, when we saw that the Lewis Foundation were looking for people to take part in a charity abseil; it felt fitting to do.
After 18 months of being pretty much stuck at home, it felt like a “seize the day” opportunity to do something totally different and exhilarating – plus, it was near Josh’s 30th when we took part, so nothing says “happy 30th” quite like a crazy experience!
After booking it and a few re-schedules due to isolation and other things out of our control, 3rd time lucky, we ventured down to the National Lift Tower to do our abseil!
How did I find the experience?
When we first got there, both of us looked up at the top of the tower from below and I think the nerves kicked in then.
I seem to recall saying: Jesus, we’re going THAT high up!?
Even though I was feeling nervous throughout, from going up at the top, to during the initial briefing and instruction, once I got myself in position ready to go and found my feet leaning down to start abseiling down, something came over me: pure adrenaline and excitement.
I thought going backwards and leaning down would terrify me, so if you’re not fond of heights, this might not be for you. But luckily, I found my grip and got into position ready to go down.
During the briefing, they mention that you should take your time and enjoy the view around you, otherwise you’ll blink and the experience is done and dusted. So I took that on board and actually stopped a couple of times just to look around.
I wish I wore a GoPro camera on my helmet just to take some footage because the view of the surrounding area of Northampton was incredible; from seeing Sixfields stadium right to the Saints ground… no words (though these pictures show a bit of what we saw!)
I thought the abseil itself got harder and harder as we went further down – I could certainly feel my arms aching towards the end as you’re instructed to pull the string yourself to lower yourself down.
But finally, I found myself getting further down and hearing the sound of applause from fellow speculators and Lorraine and Lee from the Lewis Foundation who came down to support. I felt incredibly emotional as I got to the bottom; like I achieved something massive and all the fundraising was SO worth it!
Would I do it again?
If you’re terrified of doing something like this, I promise that quickly melts away as the experience is nothing like anything you will ever do!
Sure, it’s physical work and the first initial leaning back is a bit scary, but I thoroughly enjoyed it and would definitely do it again!
If you wanted to do it for yourself, there are plenty of local charities in Northamptonshire that sign up and do regular charity abseils and you have to fundraise a certain amount to take part. For us, we had to fundraise at least £150 to claim a free spot.
Otherwise, if you want to do it for fun – it’s £100 per person and you can book a slot via the Extreme Abseiling website.
Luckily, we managed to raise over £400 between us which I was so pleased about – it will make such a difference and give lots of lovely gift packages to cancer patients in hospital which will help make their time much easier.
Would you do this yourself?