Life is a series of adventures and you often can’t control what happens, so you plan and prepare for the worst and hope for the best. However we want to advocate that avoiding adventures isn’t an option, the choice is whether you live your best life ready to roll with the adventures, building your stamina, fitness and positive attitude, or you stay quiet, hunker down and hope that you keep your control.
Don’t get me wrong. Life can throw up obstacles that are hard to deal with and it’s ok to huddle down for a short time, but then it’s time to get up, show up and keep moving forward.
I think back on one of our adventures where we encountered piercing sideways rain that chills you to the bone, at the Cathedral South hike in November 2017. We took 20 keen adventurers on our grade 5 experience where the forecast wasn’t great, however it wasn’t terrible either with 17 degrees and light showers expected. So that could have been a relatively ok day with some refreshing rain, but not this day. As we left the car park there was a light drizzle in the air, but nothing too bad and everyone was prepared for some wet weather and hopes were still high for some clear skies. The long incline of Messmate Track got us hot and sweaty and the drizzle was still there, but still not overly heavy and in fact if I remember correctly it was refreshing, but that was about to change….
As we started the tricky ascent to Sugarloaf Peak, our 3 guides started working hard to help the group ascend safely and now the rain set in, and I mean the piercing sideways rain. It quickly turned miserable and we didn’t stop at any of our normal vintage points but marched them over the peak and along the razorback with no views, no smiles, and heads down protecting ourselves from the unrelenting sideways rain and wind. We made the decision to not even stop for lunch and by the time we reached the Farmyard, which is the point you descend, most of our clients’ waterproof jackets were failing and I remember feeling wet to my underwear. We descended down the
centre track to the end and finished the walk with 20 clients safely back, however I remember John, Adrian and I all sitting at the end white knuckled and relieved that we got through that, reminding ourselves of how the weather can turn bad any day. We were so sure we were going to receive negative feedback, and were a little astounded when we received so many texts, and emails of gratitude for guiding them so well, for making them feel safe and for helping them achieve such a hard hike in tough conditions. Following on from that hike, I think every single person has come back and now completed multiple trips with us, making the day infamous…
So my point is, as we struggle through another lockdown, we are reminded that there are choices in life. You can stop, wait, huddle down, and keep trying to control the outcomes, missing out on life just in case…and waiting for the perfect day. Or you can choose to move forward with the best intentions and attitudes. Covid isn’t going anywhere soon, and the only certainty in this world is that time is the same for everyone and we only have one life to live!
Did we like the weather that was thrown at us that difficult day in the mountains? No. Do we prefer adventures where we are in more control? Yes! Is it hard to stay positive? Sure. So does it make you want to give up and stop? Maybe, but you dig deep into that positive attitude and you carry on. Some days that may be doing amazing things, and other days it may be taking some time out to sit on the couch and watch Netflix. Don’t you want to feel immensely proud that you did something, formed wonderful memories, new friendships, and learnt what it takes to get through.
So keep planning for the next adventure knowing this will end and knowing you can’t control it. It is better to live in the moment, to do shit and have a life full of adventures, stories and memories of when the weather went pear shaped rather than keep waiting for the perfect day and miss out on so much.
So let’s get out and live our most adventurous lives together …let’s go somewhere!