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Our Go Ape Experience

We all know exercise is good for us…..right…  It should also be um fun…..right??????   Bwahahahaha.  I couldn’t not share this quickly on the blog.  I’m so proud of what I’ve achieved in the last year so far.

As if some of you hadn’t thought I was nuts enough to start running at my age, I accepted a challenge from Simply Health, to try out a new Fitbit Flex, and use it for activities locally.  We all need more exercise, don’t we?

I worried a little about my hands as they’re weak, but I’m not going to let that stop me.  Little did I know what I’d let myself in for.  Numpy, yes me, that’s what I am, really and truly.  Next time someone asks me to do something like this, bop me on the head, then tell me what a great thing it is to do.  I’ll believe ya – honest.  It’s good for me too.

The challenge they set, was to do the local Go Ape course at Crathes Castle, which is something I’ve never tried before, although I’ve watched my boys try out something smaller.  They had a blast, and it looked like fun.  I could do this……right?  Ya bet I could.  Maybe….

On what looked to be a really rubbish and drizzly, yucky day, we rocked up to start our safety briefing, in our recommended clothes, ready to get mucky and wet.  With gloves on, my hair tied back, and sensible shoes on, I was ready to go with a couple of my boys.  Thankfully the sun came out and it ended up as a pretty good day.

The experience of Go Ape, promises a tree top adventure, flying down zip wires, jumping off tarzan swings and high rope crossings in breathtaking woodland.  It’s a lot to live up to.  It also sounds painful for someone who wasn’t even a couple of flights of stairs fit not that long ago, but hey, even at my age, new things are worth trying.  If I can do it, then almost anyone can.  But….and you’ll have to read on……for where I needed a boost up…

Some others in the group in front of us were taking pictures of each other, very artfully, as they only had to hook themselves on and go, but as I’d two kids to supervise, and make sure they were hooked and unhooked on each time, I didn’t get time to take any shots at all, and had to make do with the ones from my other half’s phone.  We went last, as I’d two kids to keep an eye on, and it was just as well, as we seemed to take ages.

At the top of this slide, I looked down, checked sideways, saw some people watching and pretended to be not scared at all.  Not a jot.  Who me?  You’re kidding right!



I got stuck at one bit.  I took one look at the Tarzan Swing, across to a cargo net and even my eldest said he was “shi****g” himself…  That didn’t make me feel any better, honestly…  Especially after hearing someone screaming when they did it ten minutes before us……  Having weak hands meant that I struggled to pull myself up on the cargo net after the Tarzan Swing.  My hands had almost had it, and pulling myself up to the platform was impossible, so one of the instructors had to give me a bit of a help up, which was fine.  I still had to do it myself, but with a little help from a pulley to take the pain away from my hands.  I am so glad I had gloves with leather palms on, or at this bit, I’d have struggled even more.  There was the option for a slightly easier route, but with boys being boys, they wanted to go the hard way, and mum being mum, and supervising, had no option but to go the same way… Duhhh…

The zip slides were incredibly more fun than I expected, even though I bashed my head on the second one by lying too far back as I dug my heels in to stop.  Just as well they have that soft bark on the bottom, or I’d have been spending the night in A&E.  As it was, my head sort of bounced and it was fine, but taught me to keep my head up on the next two…  Lesson learned….  Pretty quick…

The Go Ape experience, according to the internet, burns approximately 500 calories for a woman, so it’s a not too shabby way of getting some good exercise in there while also having some fun.  My shoulders ached just a little afterwards, but nothing major, although my hands might take a day to recover, but if you don’t have a touch of arthritis or anything in your hands, you’ll be fine.  I’m not sure that many other women my age would go swinging about like tarzan, but hey, we’re only as old as the things we do.  I’m nowhere near ready for the pipe and slippers…  Maybe when I’m 90!

Right, the Fitbit Flex.  Thanks Simply Health, for the lovely gift.

Fitbit Flex 1

This was easy to pair with my phone, and wearing it was quite simple, although it felt a bit strange being a little loose for the first couple of hours.  I used it to do a 5K on my treadmill to try it out, and felt oddly gratified that it showed 6.5K, on a par with my Apple Watch, when my treadmill hit the 5K, at around the same time as it takes me to do outdoors.    Bonus….I’m slow, but proving not to be as tortoise like as I thought I was on the treadmill.  Still plodding slow though.  I’m not kidding myself at all, uh uh…

This was my starting and end point today.  2062 steps before starting, and 5926 steps after it was finished, and I had food.  I was starving afterwards.  I could have eaten dry sawdust, I was that hungry.  I was going to say I could have eaten a scabby horse, but wondered if someone might actually take me seriously.  I wouldn’t eat horse, let alone a scabby one, and a scabby one, I’d be more likely to feed me to, as I’d feel so sorry for it.


The calories on this throws me a bit, as it states calories up to that point in the day, rather than for the whole day upfront.   I ate 991 calores by 5.15 and it said I was 429 calories over for the day, which is deceiving at first.   I quite like that it monitors sleep.  I’ll need to get my youngest night own to wear it and see the quality of his sleep.   He’s a dreadful night owl.

At first, I took one look at the active minutes, and went huhhhh……  Only 9 tiny minutes, heartsink…after three hours swinging about like Jane hanging from the rafters!  Then I realised it only records spells where you’re active for more than 10 minutes at a time, and with spells in-between activities, it seems to have cut out for each one.  Gutted…but makes sense.

I’m a gadget girl, so I was always going to like this anyway.  I’m a sucker for electronics and I DO like the steps it counted for the treadmill.  Not that I’ve already told you that of course.

IMG_2177 IMG_2182

So, the short story is, that getting more exercise can be fun.  Give it a go, you won’t regret it.  Even my eldest actually enjoyed it, and getting any 15 year old to enjoy a family activity isn’t as easy as making a custard pie…… Result all round..

Thanks to Simply Health for the Go Ape Experience and our Fitblit Flex