Yesterday was the first time I fully participated in a “team building activity”. I never believed in team building activities. I was never the motivational speaker, self-help book type of girl. I thought all these years that it was all a bunch of boo-hockey that was made to force people into humiliating themselves for the fun of others, and no one was left better for it.
Harsh right? This (kind of) cynical girl has gone through all of it, scavenger hunts, cheering competitions, relays. All leaving me a little more with a bitter taste in my mouth, a lot sweatier, and a little bit angrier at what we had to go through as adults.
I went in doubtful, and even more so when they declared we were going to do a bit of strenuous activity, and I wasn’t exactly dressed for it. My sneakers and non stretchy jeans weren’t made for anything more than long walks or maybe a game of longest line. We were going to go through rope courses, a zip line, ground activities and a climbing wall. I braced myself for a session of eye rolling, especially when i saw the amount of people in the place. The wave pool looked like people soup, it was so packed.
Then things got started and I got caught in everyone else’s adrenaline high. People were really sincerely cheering each other on, and getting people to do what they normally wouldn’t. I certainly did things I really wouldn’t do if I didn’t have the team I had cheering me on. When it came for the parts of the activities with heights involved, my hands were shaking, my knees were buckling, I could feel an anxiety attack coming on. I took deep breaths and tried to compose myself from totally breaking down and letting my team down. Every point counted and I was in a hypercompetitive group, all willing to push themselves to the limit, I couldn’t be the one person to just fold my cards and say “No.”
So i went with it, and saw the really supportive, fun group I was in, and all the other groups that were helping each other succeed with the not easy tasks we were set. And we did, we finished everything. Nobody quit, everyone else was giving each other tips on how to go over faster, or reassuring them that everything was all good, and to just get through it, no pressure. Every single time I was thinking of throwing in the towel, I could hear a reassuring voice telling me there was nothing to it, and each time, the voice was different. I am a very lucky girl to have been surrounded by all that support, and it drove me to push the phobia I had aside and just have fun.
Of course after it was time for drinks to unwind and just get back to being silly, that was amazing too.
By the way, did I mention we won?