“I love it when a plan comes together”
Colonel John “Hannibal” Smith, enigma from 80’s favourite “The A-Team”
Not quite as dynamic as The A-Team perhaps but this type of plan excites me. Colour coded, symmetrical, displayed on the kitchen wall and able to be ticked off smugly, appeasing the OCD demon that resides inside my head. This was my training plan for the 2015 Nijmegen Marches which entailed walking 40km per day in the Netherlands for 4 consecutive days. I had a similar plan for the 2014 London2Brighton 100km which I ultimately completed in a little over one very long, sleep deprived day. So, when I committed to trekking 800km across Spain, I imagined I’d muster up something similar. Or even more impressive. Put a transition from employment into self-employment and a number of life/parenting variables in the mix however and the ‘plan’ evolved into something like this:
- Sitting on backside talking to Exploradora (my walking buddy’s pseudonym) about the fun we’ll have on the Camino
- Sitting on backside working through lessons on my Spanish language app
- Sitting on backside searching for remaining bits of walking kit online
- Actual walking
To date, on a not so good week that has been the actual order in proportion of time taken for each activity. When you add the occasional glass of prosecco that tends to accompany the first activity it hasn’t been my healthiest plan to date.
Exploradora and I identified recently that perhaps our plan required some refinement and, since we’re starting the Camino with one heck of a trek in the Pyrenees, we thought “aha, a hill walk”. Belfast’s scenic Cavehill seemed like the obvious choice, leaving our cars outside the beautiful Belfast Castle and attempting the most challenging of the routes on offer. It had been raining for 5 days straight however so we were met with shoe sucking, walking pole engulfing mud puddles, slippy leaves and concealed tree roots to trip over. All manageable if you’re paying attention and looking out for route markers, but if you’re prone to talking excessively and getting so absorbed in conversation that you don’t recognise you’ve passed the same point twice not a great improvement on the original flawed plan. Lost on a hillside in my own hometown, socks soaked through with runny mud I shared my concerns about the Camino with Exploradora. A new plan emerged.
Show up. Continue to put one foot in front of the other. Pay attention.
See, it’s colour coded, so it’s a real plan. And I think I may get it laminated as a reminder for everyday life.