For any regular readers its been clear I have been finding that my motivation, drive and energy for Mountain related activity has been somewhat dampened by very human realities of house moves, work and having fun in more traditional adult ways like eating out and enjoying beer gardens and bars.
My previous piece “The Pendulum” verbalised my very real and constant fear of losing love of the mountains permanently.
They say admitting the problem is the first step in solving the problem.
They say it for a reason. It’s true.
I was touched by the number of people both personally close and on social media who expressed both appreciation of the writing but more intimately their concern for my mental malaise. One in fact even noted it was ironic that it was this deep concern that made him feel it was my most powerful piece yet.
Admitting the problem is the first step. But whats the next?
A goal. They say a goal without a plan is just a dream.
So I got a plan.
Not long after my post I was contacted by a good winter climbing buddy Steve Dunne who mentioned to both myself and another close mountain partner Davy Wright that he was thinking about doing something challenging in Spring 2017 and do we want to team up.
Within 10 minutes and once the discussion turned to the main objective and the plan I was back – full tilt , my mind running at pace, thoughts of ice and snow, of gear, of that delicious alpine mix of excitement and fear that only mountain climbers can understand.
While I will be sharing details of the plan over the coming months already I am back in the gym working my body hard, my diet has focused again on being strong and light, I’ve been out on the dust magnet that was my mountain bike , I’ve started reviewing kit, booking accommodation, discussing routes on forums and have a very real spring in my step.
I got a plan!
That halo of happiness is clear, I’m more motivated at work, more relaxed at home and being nicer to those who matter. Cue booking a romantic weekend for my wedding anniversary! I’ve dropped that lazy fat , can already see the climbing machine re-emerge.
The Pendulum is back to its correct position in the arc and I am working hard to prepare for May. Its a long way off so just to keep it swinging I’ve already booked the CIC hut at the base of Ben Nevis’ north face for 2 days of the unique experience that only a Scottish Winter climbing trip can offer!
So it appears for me the process is Admit the problem, get a goal, make a plan and dial it all in.
Alpine spring here I come , you better be ready!
Oh an PS.
Plans are made to be changed – and that’s all part of the fun. Like all the best road trips , you might deviate and take in some new scenery along the way but you need to start in the right direction. Have a plan. Stick to it. And if you cant – make a new plan!
Photos are , in Order
Climbers on the Midi Ridge, Mont Blanc Massif
Steve Dunne Traversing Alladins , Cairngorms
Alan McIntosh, Boomerang Gully Glencoe (Credit John Gupta, Mountain Expedition )