It's Mental Group Complete Aspirational Challenge in the Lakes District


Starting back in September a group of 19 people took a leap of faith and committed to the It’s Mental 12 Week Mental Wellbeing Coaching Program. Over this 12 week period they learnt new skills, techniques to overcome difficult situations and the benefits from having a calm mind. They set themselves weekly, monthly personal goals to help them achieve their wellbeing vision within 12 weeks. But what was a surprise was how they formed a strong bond between each other as a support group, through connecting socially and building trust by sharing their experiences, this in return created a vehicle to generate moral support and motivation for each other in their time of need.

By setting small goals and challenges they began to gain confidence and put faith in each other and build confidence in themselves.

At the end of the program we organised a aspirational challenge for the group to achieve together as a form of celebrating what they have achieved and how far they have personally come so far.

The day was the 29th February 2020. The Challenge to canoe the 18 kilometres length of Lake Windermere in Cumbria. The days leading up to the event the weather was very stormy with upto 38 mph winds which would make the journey more than difficult. But with reassurances from our trusted instructor Phil Longbottom the day went ahead. We got to our meeting destination fell foot park at 9am. The day was cold and windy but surprisingly no rain. Each canoe fitted 3 people in and it was connected to another canoe with 2 pieces of wood to make it more stable in the water. 18 people in 6 canoes and a support boat set off with the wind behind us.

For the first 5 kilometres the lake was very choppy and some of the canoes found it difficult to steer in a straight line because of the cross winds. This was our first realisation that teamwork made a big difference. In sync we were able to enjoy the beautiful scenery.

About halfway some of team started to feel to strain of paddling with one paddle at one side for a few hours so we decided to stop off for some quick refreshments and stretch our legs. Walking round talking to everyone to see how they were bearing up. Everyone was upbeat and ready to take on the second half of the challenge. Knowing that the weather was changing in late afternoon we pushed on.

Phil advised us to stay about 50metres offshore on the left hand side of the lake. This would protect us from the cross winds and any large tourist boats that might disrupt our momentum.

The weather was extremely kind and we got to the final 2 Km. We needed to start to change direction and cut across the lake to Ambleside our final destination. This was tough we the odd little shower and the storm brewing behind us it was head down and keep going.

We could see the jetty at Ambleside and it spurred us on and with a few grunts, deep breaths we hit the shore. What an achievement! What a day! What a group of people! Simply inspirational.


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