Living on the Edge

Who remembers Rachel Vickers, the brave hero who was planning to spend an entire night on a tiny portaledge suspended over a cliff? Her daring challenge was scheduled for the 25th July, so you may have been wondering what happened.

Well wonder no more, for Rachel has passed the test with flying colours!

Rachel doesn’t consider herself much of a daredevil. She’s afraid of heights, not very experienced with climbing and has fairly weak arm and leg strength. So when she decided to take on this challenge with her friend Lee she wasn’t sure what she was letting herself in for.

It was no easy ride. Rachel turned up to find that the ledge was even smaller than she’d expected, that her and Lee would have to share it, and that the instructor, Sam, would not even be joining them on it.

Once she got into the groove Rachel found that abseiling down to the ledge wasn’t as bad as she expected. Spending the night there, however, was something else entirely! Rachel was kept awake with anxiety and fear, unable to sleep in the cramped confines of the ledge and hearing the deafening roar of the sea beneath her. More than anything else, she feared that she wouldn’t have the strength to climb back up come the morning.

But she made it! Rachel made it back to safe land and is now happy in the knowledge that she pushed herself to her absolute limits, and had a blast in the process. In her own words:

It wasn't really an adrenaline rush but more a fear overcoming challenge with some manual endurance thrown in (for me - Lee is fearless!) but I am so glad I did it. I did enjoy it even though in parts it was horrific, and am incredibly proud of us both. It sure was good to be home, but I cannot stress this enough – this will push you to your boundaries if you are not a climber and have hang ups about hang ups, but it is worth every penny, second and ounce of pain and fear.

Rachel enjoyed the experience so much that she’s not planning to stop here. She claims the challenge has helped her with her own OCD and awakened an adventurous spirit in her. She’s dug out her old mountain bike and is also planning to do a Trek Fest 25k walk in the Peak District in September.

Not only this, but she’s also decided to start writing regularly about her experiences with the disorder. Check out her new blog, “OCD Aware”, at https://ocdaware.wordpress.com. She also has Twitter and Facebook pages for her writing. She's also set up a support group in Lincoln to help other with OCD.

Rachel managed to raise a vertigo-inducing £463.50, which including Gift Aid works out to over £500 to go towards helping people with OCD – not bad considering her target was only £300! You can still donate if you go to her JustGiving page and help her raise even more.

Here are some pictures of Rachel and Lee during the event:

Do you fancy yourself doing an awe-inspiring event such as this one? Or perhaps you’d like to do something easier, but no less appreciated, to help raise money for this charity? Just get in touch with Charlie at charlie@ocdaction.org.uk or on 02072535272 and we’ll do all we can to support you.