'Far better than any hotel break'
Therese and Nicholas Ingle (left) took part in an orienteering session on The Kippure Estate in Wicklow as part of their couples team-building activity.
"The 'team' part of the orienteering was brilliant. We helped each other by taking roles -- Therese was the navigator while I looked after measuring the distances," said Nicholas.
What the couple found interesting was the expectations of others that they would compete against one another.
"We didn't want to do that," says Therese. "I had an unfair advantage because I've done orienteering before. We found it funny that there were all sorts of comments from people when we got back -- they were asking if we were still talking to one another!
"Forget the hotel break, we'd rather now do an activity break, whether it be a cycling holiday or hiking. It releases endorphins and you feel on a high afterwards -- I'd chose it over a spa break any day."
The couple say that the orienteering "got the adrenaline going".
What is interesting in their case is that they decided to rely on Nicholas's strides by way of measuring distance, as opposed to the prescribed stride dictated by the activities coordinator (smaller steps which the couple found hard as both are very tall with long legs).
This represented team skills at their best; taking a decision that broke away from the rules in order to achieve their aim of successfully completing the task.
Therese said it was a unique experience. "It makes you put your heads together and maximise each other's strengths. Also, we both felt incredibly relaxed afterwards. It's been a very busy 12 months for us as we have three young children and we were renovating a house, but this was wonderfully relaxing and we had great fun together.
"The orienteering made us realise that we haven't been spending enough time together. Our eldest daughter has been going to bed later and later, so we're missing out on that crucial hour between nine and 10 but we intend to get some time back, just for us."
As a lecturer in DIT, Bolton Street, Nicholas is familiar with the advantages of team-building. He and a colleague bring 60 students to Carlingford every year as part of a team-building exercise.
"We could go away with students that don't get on at the beginning of the year," he says, "but at the end of the weekend, they are pulling together and have really bonded.
"I see it as something very worthwhile, and myself and Therese will try to do more of this kind of thing in the future. We are an active family and love doing things together, but it is important to make time for just the two of us too."
•Deep Blue Sea Kayaking: www.deepblueseakayaking.com
•The Family Therapy Association of Ireland: www.familytherapyireland.com
•Delphi Mountain Resort: www.delphimountainresort.com
•The Kippure Estate: www.kippure.com
Health & Living