On Saturday, I went on my very first event with OutdoorLads. I was nervous, but then that was to be expected – especially for me, with my anxiety etc. – but genuinely I had a really great time. The activity wasn’t anything hugely strenuous, an 8-mile walk around Arnside and Silverdale, but after a grotty week it was just what I needed.
The group of lads on the walk were fun and welcoming, and made me feel right at home – in short, everything I could possibly have asked for.
Even if I did get a tiny bit muddy!
So, to cut a long story short, I’m hooked; and booked on my next three events already 🙂
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Every weekend OutdoorLads runs a range of sociable outdoor activities all over the UK – things like hiking, climbing, camping, biking, canoeing, sailing and skiing. The group is a charity run by its members for its members, so while everything is done to the highest professional standards, the prices are kept low. All over the country people with different ages and backgrounds are joining OutdoorLads – the group has over 19,500 members and is growing.
What’s best about OutdoorLads is that for the first time (LGBT Foundation activities excepted), I’m spending proper, social, getting-to-know you time with other guy lads like myself. And it’s awesome! I came home after the event feeling like a different person. I felt for the first time in ages that I’m not alone, that there are other people like me – and I can’t explain what a powerful thing that is.
Last week I didn’t have a good week mental health wise. My dark thoughts got the better of me for a while and things were looking a little bleak. But OutdoorLads gave me a reason to hope, and a reason to keep going at just the right time. So, thank you lads, and I can’t wait to do it again next time!