The last couple of weeks have been a serious eye-opener for me, in a good way. Yesterday was one of my longest days I've had on the hill, and I did it bouncing with energy with no fatigue….it was my 10th day on the hill in the last 11 days.
This got me thinking last night. At the end of this August I would have found such a continuous run of hill-days very physically challenging. More importantly though I just wouldn't have had the motivation.
So what did I change? It's all come down to giving more thought to the long-term rather than just day to day plans. In the previous two summers my activity has slowed and even stagnated as the season progressed, the grey and drizzle sapping away any motivation. My exercise would be hill-days and only hill-days, and as they became fewer and further between during the summer my fitness would always be at it's lowest come the autumn.
I place a huge amount of value on freedom of lifestyle, and I've always believed living each day as it comes and being spontaneous are essential parts of achieving it. But there are some goals and aims that you simply can't just pull off by a huge outburst of energy and willpower "on the night".
I suppose as you become more involved and talented in your hobbies, your goals inevitably become more ambitious. And this autumn has been a turning point for me, in that I've suddenly realised I need to start preparing more long-term if I'm going to achieve some of my ambitions for this winter and next spring.
With this in mind, this autumn has been one "tunnel vision" for me. As a result for the first time since starting my time in Glencoe I am starting the winter season at my fittest. Uphill running every other day has done wonders, and the improvement in my recovery time after exercise has been striking. I'm back to my (leaner) winter weight and my speed and precision whilst climbing have noticeably increased since August.
There's no point setting yourself a goal unless you really want it. And for it to be worth it, don't you need to have won it on merit? You never know what tomorrow or next week will bring, who you could meet and what could happen to make you measure yourself….isn't it always best to know you've given things your all?
It's only been two months since my change in attitude and direction, and some of my goals already feel a world closer.Who knows what next month will bring?
The possibility of achieving a dream is always more important than that extra hour in bed.