So, as I said yesterday, a few things came out of our meeting with Paul the Trainer.
A bit of arse-chewing certainly, but on a personal level the most important result was a renewed determination to go and do more, to achieve more, and to create new goals which Shaun and I can work towards as stepping stones to our ultimate 10 stone target.
Although we still need to bolt down the exact ‘whats’ and ‘whens’ of the second half of Two Fat Laddies challenge, one venture I’d very much like to tackle before the year is out is to climb the highest mountain in the land – Ben Nevis.
Now the Ben Nevis I have been closest to up until now is the fine pub of the same name on Glasgow’s Argyle Street.
With it’s roaring fire, handy location and selection of fine drams The Ben has been a regular port of call for post-work bitching/carousing over the last few years.
The closest I ever get to the actual real thing is driving past it on the A82 whenever I decide on the scenic route home to Lewis and thinking ‘what kind of tit would ever want to waste a day climbing up that?’
I have to confess that up until now I have been firmly of the ‘hell mend them’ brigade when I am obliged to write or edit reports of folk managing to get themselves dead on Scotland’s peaks.
Every year you can almost set your watch by it.
If folk are going to put themselves in the way of danger then they must accept responsibility for their actions, right?
And if good honest men have to risk their lives trying to save these eejits then the eejits should be made to pay, right?
Well, to a degree.
I think that attitude comes from people who have had to do things from necessity and can not understand why others would do it for enjoyment.
Try explaining angling to my late grandfather – or more importantly, my late grandmother, whose table waited on the fish – and they would consider you off your head – a fool more to be pitied than scorned.
The notion of spending the time paying money to stand for hours in a river, only to catch a salmon simply to put it back in the drink rather than in the pot would baffle them the same way it still baffles me.
In the same way I think it is probably safe to venture that there were probably many many generations of men in Lochaber who co-existed with Ben Nevis without ever feeling the need to climb the thing. I expect they had challenges enough in their daily survival without needing to prove themselves to anyone.
But life changes, we evolve, and thanks to the economic cycle we, in Scotland, have had the great fortune to be more comfortable.
The closest I get to any danger in life, in providing for my family, is wondering whether my card is going to be declined near payday when I get to the checkout at Sainsbury’s.
It’s this life which allows us to get fat and complacent, which is where people have to create artificial physical challenges for themselves such as climbing mountains.
I would never have considered going anywhere near the real Ben Nevis before becoming involved in Two Fat Laddies.
Now it is an idea firmly on the radar.
Of course we hope not to form the basis of a news report, so we will take the ‘easy’ tourist route, we will take responsibility for the training required not to put anybody else needlessly in danger, and we will maybe even ask an experienced climber to come with us or show us the ropes before we go anywhere near it.
I’m pretty sure Paul the Trainer will be up for it n’all.
Already I have been scouring the net for some advice and have found one or two handy sites.
And if we can raise a couple of bob for charity while we’re at it then that would be grand too. I know Shaun has nominated The Mountain Rescue Committee of Scotland as his chosen charity so this might be an ideal way to raise a couple of quid for them.
Who knows, we may even have a celebratory dram in The Ben afterwards.
DICLAIMER: I didn’t actually run all of this past Shaun but i’m sure he’ll be cool with it….