From my high school days, I have come to love sports and adventure. Since I came from an unhappy family where my father and mother virtually work daily towards divorce, I see sports as an alternative to uplift myself. Even though I love sports, I was not able to pinpoint one I’ll participate.
All I do was to watch the players and savor the moment in order to forget the venomous atmosphere I left at home, which I was still going to meet whenever I get back. The problem I faced at home turned me into an emergency introvert as I separated myself from every other student in school and every other person around me. I was totally withdrawn, and I kept running away from people that try to get close to me, while I chase out those that tend to force themselves on me. This continued to the extent it started affecting my grades.
There’s this lady in my class, Samantha, who had a similar problem as I, with her own a little bit complex than mine. She’s more withdrawn from every other person, and her seat was situated directly by my side, although we never fancy each other or any other person. If you see us talking with each other, it’s probably because we are fighting about something, and whenever this happens, Nathan, who was the chief bully victim of the class, would come as a solicitor and try to settle the misunderstanding, but we always end up casting everything upon him.
The cycle continues for a long time until our teacher pitched the three of us together to complete a task in order to get our grades upgraded. In the truth of it, however, it was only Samantha and I that needed grade upgrade because Nathan was one of the best in the class, but he doesn’t have options than to work with us since that was the way the whole class was grouped.
The task to be completed coincides with the normal yearly individual project which was turned out to be a group project for that year. I personally felt our teacher deliberately did it that way in order to bring those of us that are challengingly introverts out of our shells. It proved to be a successful project as we indeed worked together to achieve the same goal.
Our own project was to get the type of leaves and trees that grow near the single river of our given campsite, at different places and elevations. We were given some head ups which revealed the task would take us up to seven days on foot, but we can reduce it to around three if we employ the use of bike; of course, we went for the later. Each one of us went back home to prepare for the journey individually by getting the necessary gears that will make our camping a memorable one, and not just a class project.
The most important of all the gear was the makeshift tent for the purpose of covering against cold weather of the nights, and to also protect against possible rainfalls, taking the weather forecast for the three-plus days into consideration.
Before we left for the camping, however, I received a call from Nathan asking for a tutorial on how to ride a bicycle. “I don’t seem to get it. I keep falling over and over” he said on the phone. I could not believe what he told me, but I’ve got to help him if our camping experience does not turn to disaster. I called on Samantha, and we all had a sort of training session together. It was then I realized even Samantha needed some brushing up because biking on free roads is far different from biking on footpaths which characterized the majority of the path we’ll follow to complete our task.
The training was successful as we all could at least ride for some minutes before getting tired. The training also gave us the opportunity to bond together as a team; something that’ll naturally not happen if not for the project. Needless I say we became friends, and if what our teacher tried to achieve is our friendship, the mission was completed before we embarked on the project.
Finally, we proceeded to the designated campground and camped at a favorable place close to the main entrance. It was while we were there that we realized some of our classmates were also given a project on the same campground. We waited till the following morning before going forward to the first point of the river.
The road to this part was good, and the terrain was favorable and therefore, we sort of cruise down to the place on our bikes. It took us less than one hour to reach the first two points, and this seemed to contradict what we were initially told about spending seven days. Going towards the third point, however, the road seemed to be getting longer, and it took us more hours to get to the destination.
After the third point, we could not proceed to the fourth point on the river because it was already late in the evening. We camped at a flat surface not too far from the river and made sure we were not under a tree or close to any tree. It was part of our training that staying under trees at that time of the year is dangerous because of falling tree branches or even dangerous reptiles.
During the middle of the night, the rain started pouring heavily it looked as though the area where we camped was going to be flooded. The flood never occurs though, but the wind was strong enough it took away all the three makeshift tents we were individually covered with.
Our saving grace was the fact that my father gave me an extra which was big enough to house the three of us. We continued to manage this one as we were never able to recover the ones that were blown away by the wind. The remainder of the project was more fun-filled than the first day because of our increased friendship aided by the fact that we had everything together under the same tent. Riding on the bike did make our journey faster and memorable as we meander between trees, tree roots, rocks, and muddy ground.
After completing our tasks on the fourth day, both Samantha and Nathan agreed they were going to add biking to their participating sport. Since this is a mutual sport for the three of us, we created the first biking club for the school, and we were well accepted. The club grew from one competition to another, and we had our first individual and collective medal a year after. This made the school proud and decided to employ a coach for the club.
Camping with the bike is fun and adventurous, but it is advisable to always go with extra gears in case of any mishap in terms of the tent, or bike materials.