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New Things to Do to Challenge Yourself in 2019

“I’m up to my waist and the icy ripples are reaching further with every step. So I stop, half in, half out of the swell, spread my arms, and just laugh, like a maniac.”

Happy New Year, folks!Paula-McGuire

 

If you’d love to introduce a little adventure into your 2019 but aren’t sure where to start, here’s the “Paula Must Try Harder” guide to a few of the activities that really turned my life around.

  

Cycling

Paula Cycling

“I’m riding a bike! I’m riding a bike! This is incredible. I’ve never felt so free in all my life. Thump… I rode a bike!”

As the activity that launched my new life of adventure, cycling really made an impression on me – not just on my poor bruised shins and calves. Granted, I did injure myself daily while learning to ride a bike but, even clambering back onto the saddle each time, the joy of the ride never left me for a second.

If you don’t already cycle, you deserve to bring this two-wheeled delight into your life this year.

 

 

Wing-walking

 

“The floor beneath me pitches to the right and I’m reminded that the floor beneath me is actually the roof of a small aircraft … I’m 5000 feet or so above ground, perched on what I can only describe as a deckchair with a good PR team, and, for once, I’m not questioning my life choices.”

“The floor beneath me pitches to the right and I’m reminded that the floor beneath me is actually the roof of a small aircraft … I’m 5000 feet or so above ground, perched on what I can only describe as a deckchair with a good PR team, and, for once, I’m not questioning my life choices.”

 

I know, I know, being strapped to the top of a plane isn’t quite everyone’s idea of a jolly day out! But if your head is happy in the clouds, wing-walking is one of those experiences that really shouldn’t be missed. Strangely, my time atop that Boeing Stearman was one of the most serene hours of my life so far – even though my screams of joy could probably be heard across the Yorkshire countryside.

 

 

Free hugs

Free hugs

“A whole flock of huggers surround my pitch, laughing and jostling, and opening their arms to me: a stranger. I’m not sure I’ve ever felt so welcome.”

 

Here’s an adventure for which your feet don’t need to leave the ground, but that will still raise your spirits. Offering free hugs to passers-by in your local town centre requires only a homemade sign, a cheery smile and just a little bit of courage, and the chat and chuckles you’ll have that day will be well worth the effort.

 

And the best part? The more hugs you give, the more you receive!

 

Horse vaulting

“I let go at once and throw both arms out to my sides. The breeze catches my hair and I can’t suppress a grin. I feel like a circus ringmaster, playing to the crowd for the big finale. It’s intoxicating.”

“I let go at once and throw both arms out to my sides. The breeze catches my hair and I can’t suppress a grin. I feel like a circus ringmaster, playing to the crowd for the big finale. It’s intoxicating.”

Cowboy, I am not; I couldn’t drive cattle with a Stetson and a double-decker. In fact, before this adventure, the closest I’d been to a horse was watching Mister Ed on the portable. Climbing onto a 17-hands high thoroughbred then wasn’t quite my natural environment, and my legs wobbled like tapioca on a trampoline. It wasn’t long though before I was balancing almost steadily, as the horse cantered around a merry circle. I can’t say the dismount was graceful but somehow I can’t find the photos of that particular indignity…

 

Skinny-dipping

“I’m up to my waist and the icy ripples are reaching further with every step. So I stop, half in, half out of the swell, spread my arms, and just laugh, like a maniac.”

“I’m up to my waist and the icy ripples are reaching further with every step. So I stop, half in, half out of the swell, spread my arms, and just laugh, like a maniac.”

 

Not for the faint of heart or the shy of body, skinny-dipping is a pleasure probably best sampled in sunnier climes. But, for me, in the middle of winter, off the coast of Ayrshire, this adventure still managed to warm my soul, even while freezing my backside. Sure, it was a short-lived affair but the memories – and perhaps the chilblains – will last forever.

 

Happy adventuring!

Paula.


Paula’s challenges numbered much more than five! Read about them all in Must Try Harder – here’s what to expect…

Must Try Harder Cover LR

 

Paula McGuire’s world was shrinking. Bullied as a child and plagued by excessive social anxiety, she had become a recluse. Unable to even go into a shop on her own, Paula’s life was effectively over before she hit 30. But then something changed. She isn’t even quite sure what. But after years of running away from life, Paula decided to grab it by the balls …

She didn’t do anything too difficult to start with – just learning all 17 Commonwealth Games sports! After that, she threw herself into naked-life modelling, astronaut training, and coming next, Paula plans to swim all around the United Kingdom. At the time of writing, Paula can’t swim … somehow that isn’t discouraging her one bit!

 

 

 

 


 

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