The thing that scares me the most


I recently put my hand up to go on a mentoring trek. Its five days in the bush, walking, camping, abseilng, crossing rivers, carrying a backpack and I’m terrified. The aim of the program is to spend time with some young people in the role of mentor. Just talking about stuff that needs to be discussed. I’m fine with that part. People that have worked with me will back me up on that score I’m sure. Though it has been forty years since I have been really camping with backpacks and tents, that bit doesn’t hold too many fears either, though maybe it should. The fact that it snowed in the mountains above Canberra this week, which is where we are trekking doesn’t thrill me, but I reckon with the right clothing I will be fine, I think.

The bit that actually sends chills down my spine is raising the money to go. It’s fair to say I perhaps should have read the fine print before I agreed to do this, but in my own defence I will say I was sick as a dog in bed and my defences were lower that they should be. I meekly nodded my assent and pulled the doona back under my chin.

I don’t have a lazy 5K to throw at this, I’m guessing some people actually do, perhaps the other mentors going on this journey just flip open their chq books and scribble the numbers without a second thought, but not me. Not only do I not have a lazy 5K to throw at this exercise, but the thought of asking for help is terrifying. I have never asked anyone for money or financial assistance since my days of busking in the 1980’s. It does not come easy to me at all.

My bride helped put it into perspective for me by personalizing it. “Its not about you” she said, “this is about giving some young person a fair crack at starting over, it’s about giving some young person the opportunity to form a relationship based on mutual respect and shared struggle through the bush trek experience. You don’t need to think of this as people helping you” she said “They are helping some young person reshape their lives.”

She’s good isn’t she! So please help if you can. I’m more than half way to the target. I’m pretty determined to get to the target, what would my new friend think of someone who couldn’t reach their first target, it’s not a great example to set is it? Once I have raised the money required, then I can start to get scared about what the five days have in store for me.

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