So last week Sunday I climbed a mountain, Snowdon in Wales to be exact but it was so much more than just a mountain.
Don’t get me wrong it was fucking big mountain, 1085 metres of mountain and it was no easy task but I had my gear and my mate Twinny with me and we supported each other.
It starts with a steep tarmac road and that along knackers you out and it’s the first 15 minutes. A path then stretches far into the distance up the valley leading to a steep stone path that passes under the railway line and up and even more steeper and stoney path. This was by far the hardest physical bit but we pushed ourselves and got to the top. Sadly the clouds had come down and we walk across the top to the summit in mist and fog and bloody hell was it cold.
We reached the summit in 2 hours and 45 minutes, 15 minutes faster than what Google had said so woo hoo!
Half an hour break up the top to have a bite to eat. I thought better to carb loads so cheese and ham roll and flapjack, Twinny a Feta cheese salad and fruit. It made me laugh all that way and still on his diet.
The biggest challenge for me was walking down the dam thing, hard on the legs the steep bits were really hard on the knees and ankles. This is were the mental challenge comes in, not on the steep bits but the path back across the valley, you can see it reaching all the way back to Llanberis in the distance with it’s beautiful lake. The drive to push aching and painful muscles down that long winding path knowing exactly how far you have to go before you can rest is a killer. If you couldn’t see the path it would be easier as you just would keep going in ignorance and bliss.
We made it back in 2 hour and 45 monies and I was pleased to be back on the flat and stable road of Llanberis. My muscles took days to recover but my god I climbed a fucking mountain, I did it. I was so very proud of myself for that.
It was so much more than a mountain, I wasn’t coming off that mountain without finishing it, I think I would have died inside if I had come off that mountain without getting to the summit. Failure wasn’t an option. Why? This was the first test of a new life.
Since I split from my ex and he moved on a break neck speed into another relationship I have been left in pain and struggling to find me again. Who am I? What do I like? What is fun for me? I kind of went back to basics and I always remember that when I was a kid, when we would go places on holidays and days out, if me and Dad saw a mountain we would have to go and climb it just to see what was at the top of it. So I thought let’s go and climb Snowdon! It is closet to where I live and a friend wanted to do it as well, perfect so let’s go do it.
I put a lot on to this climb, testing a friendship with Twinny, we had never spent so long together and full 12 hours in the end and we didn’t shut up once. There was also the thought that if I can get my fat ass up and mountain and push myself on and up when I am relatively unfit and inexperienced I can do anything. I know that sounds so stupid and dumb but it has had significance to me. I literally thought if I can do this then I can do anything I put my mind to. I can get my head round having to live alone again, to have to find a new life and a new path to walk.
More mountains? For sure, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis to go.
There are so many more challenges to come, divorce, selling and moving out of our home and starting again from scratch at 40. You might even be saying, ‘you don’t need to climb a mountain to do that you just need to man up’ and you are more than likely right. However, you know what, I did have to prove it, I needed to prove to myself that I can do these things, that nothing can stop me, I have the strength to push myself and I can achieve great things.
The week after the mountain has been crap and I ended up at work crying my eyes out thinking about all the crap that is still yet to come. I could sit here and go on and on about all the stuff in my mind, not wanting to leave my home or change my life, or thinking why can’t I just find another bloke like the ex did and then it will all be OK. Maybe that’s another blog for another day.
Today I wanted to reflect on the achievement of climbing a physical and mental mountain as I haven’t given myself much credit for it. I want to stick two fingers up at my self doubt and all those that doubt me, that hurt me and that have chosen to leave my path whether or good terms and bad. I can do this, I can climb mountains and fucking big ones at that. So I will sit here and finish this blog wth a smile on my face and a massive sense of achievement and promise that when the going gets tough I will picture myself at the summit, in the middle of the wind and rain knowing that I beat it.