Lets not try to over-egg the pudding. After all I’m not attempting to pull a sled to the South Pole, run an ultra-marathon in the Sahara or disappear off to Afghanistan to defuse IEDs. But with less than 4 weeks before I start, I reckon I am just beginning to get a small insight into the psychological stresses generated at home when more adventurous people than I will ever be prepare for expeditions or long tours of duty abroad.
My life has become dominated by this little project and my preoccupation is probably more of a trial to those who are close to me. I suspect that Kate can’t wait to see the back of me, my obsession and my growing selfish sensitivity and irritation to any words of doubt or upset at my impending absence. But I also suspect that I am going to miss the family and comforts of home much more than my family think I will.
Despite some enlightened listening to Radio 4’s ‘Woman’s Hour’ as I walk, I now find the training boring, repetitive and yet strangely addictive. I get restless and ratty when I take a day off and I worry incessantly about how the family will thrive. Equally strangely, I now worry much less than I did about logistical coordination and I am quietly confident that if and when the plan slips I will find a way to make it work. But then I worry that this little project will eat into the old finances more than it should and probably ruin the chances of returning to the remnants of a career afterwards.
I am now more than just itching to get going. I need to be out there. Yet I am becoming increasingly terrified of what I might have let myself in for. I fear embarrassment through failure of any kind, but I fear injury and not capability. I realistically understand that there isn’t much I can do if injury strikes with real consequence and that minor injuries and fatigue are going to take their toll. But…. Hey! It’s only a bloody walk! So stop being a woose, and just get on with it Hilly!
N.B. Due to the persistent inclement weather….Item for shopping list: WADERS!!!