Friday, 12 January 2018

A Belated Happy New Year; and sharing some plans!

Happy New Year to anyone reading this. I hope you enjoyed whatever break you were able to have, and are looking forward to the year ahead.

Hoping that 2018 brings many more mornings like this i.e. out of doors enjoying them!
Along with just about everyone else a New Year triggers for me a flurry of goal setting, plan making and commitment (some stronger than others). I mentioned on social media the other day that some of my plans for the year required me to be somewhat fitter than I currently am, and I thought I'd flesh out those plans a bit for anyone who is interested (recognising that that may be no-one at all). This is for two reasons 1) because it is by far and away the most exciting thing I have to write about at the minute and 2) if I write them down now it will add to my motivation later in the year when I am trying to follow through with those plans. As such plans always seem, at some point, to prove inconvenient, difficult or hard, any extra motivation would be welcome.

I'll come to that in a minute. I also mentioned that I wanted to try and post content, particularly images, which are more representative of EVERYTHING I get up (which is relevant to the 'wild guy' narrative anyway). Don't get me wrong, all the images I post are mine, but I am often guilty of only posting the ones which I think are good in their own right and as such the story that they tell is often a little disjointed. I'd like that story to become a bit more complete, and that may involve posting some images which seem of a lower standard but tell the story better. It still isn't going to be my personal life, photo's of the office and such like, but it may be ones which on the face of it seem ... worse, but I'll try and explain the story they tell as I go.

My plans for the year then. Basically my plans centre on the desire to make 2018 the year, hopefully the first of many, where I stop saying 'that would be cool / great / brilliant' and start saying 'that WAS amazing / incredible / unforgettable!' and so on. In other words I want it to be the year I start doing rather than dreaming. Many of the plans for the year are the culmination of years, in a few cases decades, of dreaming of adventures. I won't set out detailed plans now because I'll be writing about them all individually both at the planning stages and at the fun bit (although I find the planning fun too if I'm honest).

Therefore in an approximate chronological order (which is subject to change!), in 2018 I will:
- Climb Snowdon
The Ystwyth in Mid-Wales. All being well at some
point this year this view will include me, mid-river!
- Visit the Outer Hebrides; specifically fly into the only commercial airport in the world where the runway is on a beach - Barra - the southern most island in the Outer Hebrides island chain. (Flying this route was my dream job when I was a teenager. This trip is a birthday present for a 'milestone' birthday this year - thank you to my beautiful wife and my parents-in-law for making this possible)
- Visit the Isle of Skye for a family holiday
- Hopefully climb Ben Nevis again on the way to Skye.
- Walk / Swim / Raft from 'source to sea' down the River Ystwyth in Mid-Wales.
- Do the UK Three Peaks with my brothers

That will do to be going along with, there are a few others which have bigger question marks hanging over them at the minute, mostly just down to available spare time, so I won't add them yet but hopefully there may be a few extras to add to this list before years end.

The fitness concern is largely centered on the Three Peaks attempt. I don't just want to complete it, I want to complete it well and if not easily then at least without serious discomfort. It's for this reason that I will be trying to make the most of working in the Peak District and actually going out for a walk, usually up a steep hill, before work or during lunch breaks and so forth. To provide one more level of motivation I signed up to a few 'challenges issued by UK outdoor magazines;
- the #walk1000miles 2018 challenge (Country Walking Magazine), and
- the #everestanywhere challenge (Trail Magazine).

Both should be eminently do-able provided I pull my finger out and actually start making better use of my time... what this essentially amounts to is me learning not to sleep as much! I'll leave this there for now - if all this comes off there will be some stories to tell, pictures to share and hopefully maybe even a little inspiration to give. Not that I expect anyone to be inspired by my efforts, but rather I hope that you may be inspired by the places I visit and the enjoyment I hope to derive from the journeys to get there!


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