The first thing I had to do was determine what; after the mountaineering course; came next in the plan. When looking back at my old plans, they were just a rough sketch and were not as realistic and as indepth as I needed them to be. Now if I have learned anything from my time studying various courses, both at work and university, it is that you have to set yourself SMART objectives. (i.e Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely) to give yourself the biggest chance of success.. So I had to go back to the start and re-plan. That meant scrapping my rough plan and sitting down to write a whole new one.
As the long term dream is such a massive one, it had to be broken down into 2 year increments so that I could focus on taking steps rather than huge leaps which would inevitably be detrimental in the long run.
So for the next step in the plan I broke it down to 2 choices, an advanced mountaineering course at altitude or ice climbing. Both are beneficial as the altitude exposure and Ice climbing skills are a major part of the long term goal. In the end, it came down to what skills would take longer to perfect and after some research and finding a suitable course, I decided to go on an Ice Climbing course in Chamonix and Cogne in January with Jagged globe. That way I have exposure to altitude and am getting more ice climbing experience. 2 birds: 1 stone. Especially if I manage to squeeze in a few extra days around it but that's another story.
Over the past few months I have been doing so much climbing as part of my training programme to get myself strong and fit for the challenges ahead. Most of my training takes place at the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena where I go climbing for around 6 hours a day, 3 times a week. On top of that, once a month, I practise my ice climbing at the Ice Factor in Kinlochleven for 2-4 hours. I have also added in gym sessions a 3 times a week in order to help build core and back strength. I am still nowhere near ready but I am definitely a lot closer than I was at the start of the year. Now, with more appropriate SMART objectives, I am in the right frame of mind for it and after another 7 months of hard work and training, I'll be ready.
It's definitely a great feeling to have a plan in place towards your dreams and now with my next adventure just around the corner, Fun is definitely in my immediate future.
The words of wisdom today are:
Don't let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of your doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might just as well put that passing time to the best possible use ~ Earl NightingaleS xx