I’ve never been an adrenaline junkie. I am far too scared and/or relaxed to do anything crazy like throwing myself out of a plane or bungee jumping. And to be honest — and no offence if it is your thing — I just don’t understand why you’d want to. That’s not to say I haven’t done some scary things in my time, of course, I’m just a little more selective of how I get my kicks.
On my first visit to Vegas over 10 years ago with my best friend, Georgie, we were still young enough (well late 30’s) to try the scary stuff and equally (in my case) old enough to know when something was a bad idea. We went to the infamous Stratosphere attraction that is a million miles high — towering above all of Vegas like the scary monster it is. If you haven’t been, the Stratosphere has 4 “thrill rides” at the top of the building, 1149 ft above ground and all as heart stopping as the next one. We chose 2 to experience — a roller coaster attached to the edge and one of those chair/platform things that shoots you even higher. We climbed on the latter first, the twinkling lights of Vegas a mere blip in the distance, and then, and only then, did my sensible voice shout up; ‘Get Off This Ride NOWWWWWW!’ And I did, leaving poor Georgie to poop her pants on her own.
Of course, as you get even older the really sensible voice in your head pipes up. It tells you why doing something that could involve you dying or messing your pants isn’t such a good idea and you inadvertently agree; therefore never pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. It’s somewhat of a vicious circle.
So last week, while away in Cornwall with an 11-year-old fan of all things scary and dangerous, I knew it wouldn’t be long before I got roped into something that would make my heart beat a little faster. We ventured to Constantine Beach on Tuesday, and with its wonderful sand dunes and a body board, there was only one way this was going. Welcome to Sand Boarding.
We found our spot for the day, set up camp and Ruby began moulding the ‘slide’ into shape — smoothing the sand over and over to make us go faster; adding bumps to make sure we took off and digging a crater for us to land in. I watched from a safe distance, my mouth getting drier and my palms sweatier; all the time thinking how I could escape this “thrill.”
But 11-year-old nieces take no prisoners and when she declared it was ready to ride, I gulped. She went first, of course, yelping in delight as she whizzed over the sand and came flying off in a heap at the bottom of the slope. The words “awesome” and “amazing” were audible above the mouthful of sand she’d swallowed and off she went again, climbing back up the slope for round two.
As I sat at the top of the slope, I felt sick and excited. 49-year-old women, prone to accidents at the best of times, do not sit on bright pink body boards and launch themselves down a sandy slope with no safety net, shin pads, helmet or life insurance. But I did! Whoooo-hooooooo! I screamed, yelped and managed to stay on the board — and even went further than my niece, much to her disgust! Then I ran all the way back to the top
and did it again, and again, and again…..
But not all thrill rides go without incident. Once I’d gained some confidence, I thought it would be a good idea to sit Harley on the front of the board with me. Safe to say an excitable Labrador; a middle-aged woman with a sudden sense of adventure and a sandy slope is only going to end one way – in disaster! Unfortunately, Harley decided to evacuate the board halfway down and took refuge in my leg – but hey, that’s the price you pay when you’re a thrill seeker like me!
Sand Boarding is the best fun ever and I cannot recommend it enough — next time (yes, NEXT TIME!) I may even try standing up and doing it!