Well worth the effort, and very rewarding…
My Explore experience has been full of fun, adventure, and getting out of my comfort zone, into my peak adventure zone. Hiking was a challenge because of the terrain, and having to tell myself that I could make it, and that the whole team would make it to our destination. Climbing up mountains was mentally stressful, but once there, the views were awesome. Backpacking was well worth the effort and very rewarding.
Kayaking pushed me in the area of adventure due the water temperature, and the fact that I might not have the skill to go through a rapid successfully. Just like the hiking over the mountain, telling myself that I would make it was essential for me. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, learning to white water kayak was really fun, and it was a challenging new skill to learn. Going through the rapids in a tiny little boat is at first quite intimidating, but after learning some other skills that help you get through the current and having the knowledge to roll back up after you tip over helps ease the anxiety.
Rock climbing has pushed me well beyond my limits as far as heights go. Setting up anchors is probably the scariest thing I have ever done. I have never prayed for the rapture to happen more than before that experience. Once the anchors were placed, we had to rapelle down to where we were going to setup a base for the day. Having to trust your anchoring system that you have just setup was a bit scary but fun. On a multiple pitch climb, I was scared out of my mind after I got half way and had to get clipped into a new belayer, to start a second more difficult climb. Once I finally began to climb and focus on the rock wall in front of me, it was not as scary as I thought. It was difficult and I have never been more thankful to be on level, solid ground in my life. But it was a good and fun experience that pushed me to trust others, myself, the work that I had done, and the equipment I was using.
The awesome community aspect of Explore has blown me away; everyone has such a good attitude and encourages one another to go further, while being safe. I would encourage anyone that is interested in Explore to realize that it will push you out of your comfort zone, but you will grow through the awesome experiences and friendships that you will make.