If you follow us on social media you might have seen I was away over the weekend, up in Cumbria.
Now for my wife – and the friends we went with (#goteamsnell) – this trip was a welcome break from all the stresses and packed schedules of every day life.
Good for them.
For me it was a chance to do some serious hiking.
Now until fairly recently I viewed hiking as the less sexy version of trail running, which isn’t particularly sexy anyway.
I’d put it in the same category as tube socks, reading glasses and casual racism – it was for the older generations.
But since becoming a Dad things have changed, and my views have changed.
I was desperate to get a decent hike done on our trip, so I got up early on Saturday morning and googled popular hikes nearby.
Knowing that any hike would be a tough sell, I picked the shortest one I could find – just four miles – and called it a walk instead when I suggested it over breakfast.
I may have also mentioned a pub at the end, which didn’t actually exist.
My massaging of the truth worked though, and we were good to go.
A couple of hours later we arrived at the start point and set off.
The sun was shining, it was the perfect day…
…45 minutes later it became evident my early morning internet research hadn’t been the most comprehensive.
For instance, I hadn’t spotted the 600m elevation on the walk*
To summarise, it was pretty punchy, particularly for a 4 year old.
Archie (4) wasn’t the one voicing concerns though. Sally (32) was, and she wasn’t holding back.
She felt she’d been mis-sold.
Way I saw it though, I had two options:
Admit I was wrong and have a good old moan.
Avoid apportioning blame, remain positive and point out that it would all be worth it for the sense of achievement.
I went for option 2, as I felt better qualified given my line of work.
And just under 4 hours later we made it back to the car, me carrying both Harry and Archie, feeling…well dehydrated mainly, but we’d made it none the less.
Yes there were points on the walk when things were strained.
Yes my wife still hasn’t forgiven me and I’m fairly sure her friend hasn’t either, but she’s too polite to say.
But we’ve all got some pretty hilarious memories of the day, and I’m confident we’ll all look back on it fondly for years.
Time is a healer 😉
Sometimes things are tougher than we expect them to be, but maybe that’s for the best.
After all, if we knew something was going to be tough, wouldn’t we be that much less likely to go ahead and do it?
And sometimes, we need someone there to support and encourage us, just like Archie (4) who needed carrying at certain points, or Sally (32) who needed gently coaxing from a safe distance and the promise of a cold G&T at the end.
So if you’re able to self-coach, good for you – get going!
But if you sometimes need a little encouragement to get you started or keep you on track, get in touch – we can help you achieve your goals.
Ian “novice-hiker” Male