Adventure great start to the year

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New challenges . . . Ben Johnston kept a daily record of his Outward Bound adventures in his journal. PHOTO: REBECCA RYAN

For Ben Johnston, 2019 is all about setting new goals and not letting his disability get in the way of his efforts to live life to the fullest.

He has already checked off his first goal – to go on an adventure.

On February 22, he returned from an eight-day Outward Bound New Zealand course at Anakiwa, in Queen Charlotte Sound at the top of the South Island.

The 24-year-old Oamaru man was one of 12 people on the Outward Bound “Horizons” course, which is designed specifically for young adults with intellectual disabilities.

He tried several activities and said tramping, camping, kayaking and abseiling were “amazing” new experiences that helped to boost his self-confidence.

He also enjoyed waking up early each morning to go for a swim in the sea.

Mr Johnston said he made good friends on the trip and liked being challenged to work together as a team and support each another as they were pushed past their comfort zone.

He was now motivated to try new experiences at home.

He already has plenty to keep him busy, involved in dance and drama groups, a Special Olympics swim training group, ten-pin bowling and indoor bowling groups, a community youth group and attending Elim Church.

Mr Johnston is also working hard on his health and fitness and attends Snap Fitness Oamaru Zumba classes each Wednesday.

His other goals for 2019 are to get part-time paid employment and volunteer for a community organisation – and he is even more motivated after returning from Outward Bound.