Wednesday, 26 February 2020


Alicia Lose's Outward Bound experience

Coromandel Outdoor Language Centre (COLC) intern, Alicia Lose has recently come back from an Outward Bound course in Anakiwa in the Marlborough Sounds. Outward Bound is an organisation focused on showing people another side to themselves and challenging them to be a better person, using the outdoors.

Alicia, who hails from Switzerland, did the "Young Adult Classic” course, which is basically 21 days of constant challenges, team building and brand new experiences. Since she has started working at COLC, Alicia found herself constantly advising the language school's students to try something new. “I thought it was time to take my own advice,” she says.

The first thing a lot of people think when they hear about Outward Bound, is the physical benefits. Constantly moving around and trying new activities is great for the body. However, the first thing Alicia spoke about was how great it was for her mind. “I always follow my heart, but going to Outward Bound was more about sorting out my head," she said. "I found out a lot about who I am and also who I am not. I realised that you don’t have to know what you want. If you don’t know, that’s OK too.”

Alicia began with 12 people in her "watch," but finished with only 10. Over the three weeks she participated in all sorts of outdoor activities, such as kayaking, camping, tramping, sailing and high ropes courses. Every person in the watch also had to run 3.2km every morning. Quite a specific distance and that last 200m mattered a lot to Alicia. “They say you should be able to run 3km in 25 minutes before you do Outward Bound," she said. "Then you get there and you have to run 3.2km. It’s only 200m and it should be nothing, but to you in the moment it’s everything.”

One of the highlights for Alicia was the sailing. She had never been sailing before, and everyone bar one person in her watch was in the same boat… figuratively speaking. The instructors tell you what to do, then you just have to do it, apparently. “We were very good at doing what we were not supposed to do," Alicia said. "But I was never scared because I knew that everyone wanted to help.”

On the 21st day of the experience, everyone had to run 21km up the Queen Charlotte Track. Although Alicia expressed a dislike towards running, she said it wasn’t as hard as she expected. “The instructors ask you, 'This is your last challenge, how do you want to do it?" So you just start running slowly and you eventually finish. Everyone is really supportive, the instructors and the students.

"The local community have also been very supportive helping me to go on the course. I would like to thank Darrell Bird from Dive Zone Whitianga, Graham Caddy from Feetstreat, Monette Johnston and Jody Simpson from You Travel, Leith Simpson from Stirling Sports, Rachel Reid the manager of The Warehouse in Whitianga, Stuart Brown from Longshore Marine, the staff and the students from Coromandel Outdoor Language Centre and everyone who lent me warm clothes. Also a big thank you to Driving Miss Daisy in Blenheim and the Outward Bound Foundation."


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