Right now I should be getting excited about what should be an impending trip to the tropical island paradise of Tenerife, one of the seven islands that make up the Canary Island archipelago off the west coast of Morocco. There, I was intending to make an ascent of volcano number two, Mt Teide, in my #40by40 quest.
But I’m not going.
There are a variety of reasons ranging from money to being generally disorganised to not having crampons (which might be required if there is snow on the summit, which is highly possible in early December).
These are all big fat excuses. A load of bollocks really.
I’ve done some naval gazing and ultimately I’ve let fear grip me – at 3718 metres tall, Mt Teide was always going to be a bit of a beast to climb. Add to that a winter climb with the possible dusting of snow (something I have no experience of) and this just went from a mere challenge to right outside my comfort zone. Even the lure of Tenerife’s winter sun wasn’t enough to give me a kick up the backside to book flights. Instead I made excuses, big upped myself on saving money (you know, Christmas is coming and all that), ignored the elephant in the room.
But it appears I can only avoid the truth for so long. With the winter weather arriving and the nights drawing in, and a relatively empty blog peering out at me from the computer, I realised the only way I was going to climb 40 volcanoes was to actually climb 40 volcanoes. Thinking about climbing them, talking about climbing them, looking at pretty pictures of them – that’s all just wishful thinking and doesn’t get me any closer to achieving the goal.
It’s like wanting to run a marathon I guess. Researching exercise techniques and nutrition plans or buying the most streamlined running attire is all well and good but without actually training – or indeed even entering a race – that goal remains forever illusive.
So with you as my witness, this post is a giant kick up my derriere to stop stuffing around, stop making excuses and start doing – or as some who I follow on Twitter say: start living.
A post on my forthcoming plans will be imminent (I promise!)
Now that I’ve put this in writing I have to follow through.
Do you have any tips on how to ‘start doing’?
5 thoughts on “Time to stop making excuses and just start”
Actually defining the limits of your comfort zone is a major step forward, Katrina, so good on you. Now you can start to work on those 'excuses'. Have you joined a mountaineering club? A hiking club even? Committing regularly to club hikes and climbs would be a good first step in stretching out those comfort zone edges. Committing to the small stuff is the key to achieving the big goals, I always think. Small achievable (and believable) goals within a realistic time frame. And make lists of those small things so you can tick them off with a big flourish. (e.g. From 'join local ramblers TICK' and 'go on ramble of North Downs TICK' to 'join alpine club TICK and 'go on beginner's ascent of Mt.Xyz TICK' to 'buy tickets to Tenerife TICK' and 'climb Mt Teide' TICK'.)
Also, stick CRAMPONS on your Christmas list and pin it up in obvious places. Good luck shifting that elephant. I have every confidence you can persuade it to take up residence in someone else's room.
All excellent tips that I can easily put into practice. Thanks!
Hi Katina, thought-provoking post as always. Have you considered taking baby steps for your next mountain adventure?
Thanks Myke. You are very right. Baby steps is the way to go. My problem is I get blinkered very easily by the overwhelming challenge and forget to break it down. Mental note to self to focus on the small and achievable.
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