Idiots, mountains and Frank: Part 1 – Kendal Mountain festival.

I am now 19!

*waits for singing*

So…i’ve been a little busy.

Kendal Mountain Festival
My kayak instructor messaged me a few weeks ago to let me know that a speaker I would probably find interesting was going to be at the Kendal mountain festival…some guy called Josh Dueck. I didn’t need to read the brief he’d copy and pasted me as i obviously knew who he was.
He’s a Canadian winter paralympic gold medalist skier with a spinal cord injury, who’s heart lies in developing free skiing and making it accessible for people regardless of “disability”.
I rolled over excitedly into the kitchen to tell Mum “we are going!” with a slight murmured “but” at the end…
Mum: When is it?
Me: Saturday…
Mum: Ok then. Anything else on that day?
Me: Erm…American idiot the musical in Manchester at 7:30pm.

Now at this point I expected Mum to go mad and tell me to stop trying to do 20 things all at once. But this time, she nodded and asked what time the film/talk would be. It was at 10am and she was ok with coming with me to that up in Kendal which is just over an hours drive…then coming back down to Chorley and driving down to Manchester for American idiot. I was half in shock, half relieved that Mum really does get my passion for skiing/adaptive adventure sports and ambitions and excited that she’d be sharing a “proper Laura May day!”and would also get to see and have a taste of the world i bizarrely seem to belong to!

When we arrived at Kendal (early for once!) we found ourselves going on a little stroll across town…finally found the dojo which was the venue that the talk would take place. A lovely huge, massive tarmac hill waiting for us and then a maze of tents selling skis and bike frames…Mum and I must have walked through this tent about 3 times before we finally found our way in, picked up our tickets and actually got in our places!

I also met up with karen Darke as it is crazy the amount of people who have asked me whether i know her because i remind them a lot of her in my attitude towards life. apparently i’m very “can-do” about things. We had a brief little chat about things i’m looking into, and also the fact she did a post-grad degree at the university of Cumbria, seeing as now i’m looking at doing an undergraduate degree there too…more to come further down!

Josh and Mike Douglas did a “conversation” as they put it, about the film they made a few months back called “The freedom Chair”.

It was amazing! Mum was crying…and she doesn’t cry at stuff..but she said she could feel and smell thesnow as well as relate to Josh’s story and the clever way they made the film and spoke about their experiences and how they thought and spoke about consideration for the people who you care about and who care for you. With all the things i get up to and still being quite young, a lot of people overlook the people around me and just see me as “amazing” while my dad quietly worries and my Mum smiles, lets me get on with it but…still worries! Although listening, seeing and speaking to Josh has really inspired me to keep going on the path i am pursuing and creating, it’s also reminded me to consider the people around me and remember that when they are slightly concerned for me, it’s not because they want to stop me from doing anything but it’s because they want to understand why and how i’ll do it. Sometimes, they don’t even want to know too much…!
I spoke to Josh and also let him know about my plans and what I’m doing and like all the Canadians i’ve been in contact with he was really open and excited about what i want to do and even offered to give me a hand with things once i get over there.
So after annoying the Kendal adaptive ski guys for a while, as i remembered seeing Alan in hospital, Mum and I dashed across town to visit the University of Cumbria in their yurt (it was so cute!) to enquire about some of their outdoor courses…as i’ve been planning things recently and now i know what path i want to sketch out…the outdoor leadership course Cumbria seems to be right for me, not just as a “degree” but for other reasons such as a stepping stone into moving out, meeting other like-minded people, testing new ideas and concepts out in a safe environment and…living in the lakes for three years! Even more that i can’t be bothered or remember to list right now!
So picture this: A girl in shorts, thick tights and a hoody (basicaly half dressed to be in the outdoors, half dressed to be attending a Green Day concert) turns up to the university of Cumbria’s yurt at the Kendal mountain festival saying, “I’d like to do you outdoor leadership course…”
Initial reaction: erm…
Before i had to go through any awkward explanations I just said: Ok, i do skiing, climbing, kayaking and i believe in this amazing new adventure sport called “mountain tricking”…
Through conversation i said a little more about what i do and the positive, open minded lecturer really thought that something could be done to get me on this course…so something is being done.
And hopefully, and i’ll keep updating, by next September i’ll be starting my outdoor leadership degree…a little different to how this “blog” began, don’t you think? It all started with the hope of studying English at Oxford! Which just shows…a lot can change in a year!
More to come…American idiot the musical and the amazing Frank Turner. This was all in the space of one weekend..I met St. Jimmy on saturday and got a hug off Frank Turner on Monday…crazy!



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