Welcome to part 2 of my interview with Ruth Randall where we explore how the Scout Movement pushed Ruth out of her comfort zone but offered Ruth an incredible amount of love and support. We will look at how you can’t say no to abseiling in front of six year olds. Life then took a cruel and tragic turn in 2012.
I started to spend more time with people who were positive influences on my life.
There was never a big falling out but I gradually spent less and less time with this friend who had caused me so much distress. But she tried to set my friends against me by making remarks such as ‘we don’t see Ruth anymore. Since she’s started seeing Rob, she’s neglecting her friends’
By that time I was ready to let it go.
I’d been involved in the Scout Movement since my youngest had joined beavers. I started volunteering and found myself offering to take on the role of a cub leader. From there I moved on to become a scout leader. The Scout Movement offers a really supportive atmosphere and this was just what I need. Everyone involved in the Scout Movement has a very similar outlook on life. The movement is full of caring and compassionate people.
Way Beyond My Comfort Zone
I draw the line at going down holes in the ground. But it didn’t stop me from being pushed into doing many things that were right out of my comfort zone!
It’s very difficult to say no to abseiling when you have a group of eager six year olds wanting to do it.
I wasn’t planning on taking part, but my eldest son got to the top of the tower and froze with fear. So I asked if it would help if I did the abseiling with him. My fingers were crossed that he’d say no but to my dismay he nodded! So with a crowd of 6-10 year old eager onlookers I could hardly turn round and retract my offer!
At the top of the training tower the instructor hooked us each into the safety harness, which is attached to a rail. You are then told that in your own time you should go under the rail and start to lower yourself down.
Life is like abseiling
The abseiling adventure reminded me so much of life.
The feeling that it was quite nice being on the safe side of the rail, knowing I was safe and being able to see, touch and feel my surroundings – being grounded.
But going under that rail represented uncertainty and risk (although not in the case of the training tower) but the analogy still feels the same.
Equally the Scout Movement can show us how to play to our strengths. We had one boy in our pack who was particularly disruptive in weekly meetings. Each week we would have to call his dad into a meeting to discuss his son’s behaviour.
That went on until we did a night hike round Hemel Hempstead. A lot of the children were flagging and struggling with the fact we were out late. But he was the one encouraging and motivating them to complete the exercise. We saw a totally different side to his character that night!
The Scout Movement has been very instrumental in helping many troubled teenagers but for me it helped me so much with some really tough times in my life.
Dealing with Dyslexia
My eldest is dyslexic but we only found out when he went to senior school.
The primary school that my boys attended had so much in place for children with special educational needs. The school offered a different style of learning that enabled him to do really well.
However the move to secondary school and the method of learning didn’t suit him.
We got him a tutor for a while but that didn’t really help and he found his own way.
Jamie simply wouldn’t accept any help that made him stand out as different, such as having a laptop in class.
He scraped into sixth form and had always been determined that he would go to university and do something with computers. But an incident with a teacher at a parents evening changed all of that!
You Can’t Do A Levels
Jamie was really struggling in the sixth form. He couldn’t cope with the A level syllabus.
We went along to a parents’ evening and one of his teachers told him bluntly ‘You need a reality check Jamie, you can’t do A Levels’. With that my son stormed out of the school.
Jamie did a lot of research and found a computer programming course, which he did for a year before going to college to do a further course to get the necessary UCAS points to go to university. He’s now at Newcastle University.
While it might have been a harsh comment from the teacher it was probably what Jamie needed and the timing was perfect. He was extremely motivated to prove his teacher wrong.
So he worked really hard to get the qualifications he needed to achieve his dream to reach university.
Your Personal Development Journey
One of my work colleagues developed my interest in personal development.
At the time I was struggling with my toxic friendship; my marriage break down and all that was making me feel particularly vulnerable.
I read lots of books and she taught me a lot and I became a bit hooked!
My job was about empowering people. It fascinated me how much people can achieve with the right support or changes to their mindset.
Initially I did a foundation in counselling but felt it wasn’t quite me. I went on to study NLP Practitioners Course and Coaching Course, which really inspired me.
Finally last year I did a Personal Transformation Diploma Course you go in one end and come out the other a completely different person.
I remember saying to Rob that even if I don’t become a Life Coach it’s been worth the investment just for what I’ve got out of the course.
Trying For A Baby
We began 2012 trying for a baby. We weren’t sure if we’d succeed. But imagine our delight when I fell pregnant.
I had a friend who was also pregnant, having been through a miscarriage the previous year, another friend at work was undergoing fertility treatment. So it all became pretty intense.
In September we went for the 3-month scan and I knew something wasn’t right when we looked at the screen.
The sonographer told us that the baby had died in the womb at around eight weeks.
There hadn’t been any signs, no bleeding and everything felt fine. It may sound funny but I was just so aware that I was pregnant. Consequently the news was totally overwhelming.
My world had suddenly been turned upside down in the most cruel and inexplicable way. I experienced both grief and shock. I’m also very good at beating myself up so I felt that I’d let Rob down and he’ll never have a baby
The hospital did not offer an abortion but instead told me that it should happen naturally! I was totally overwhelmed…
In Part 3 we will look at what impact losing her baby this way had on Ruth. We’ll discover how the Scout Movement became a saviour for Ruth once again.
If you missed part 1 we explored how Ruth’s first marriage broke down and how a friendship became toxic and almost caused Ruth to give up her chance of happiness with her new relationship.