I had my words rehearsed! I was prepared to argue my corner if necessary! When it came to the crunch, however, I said nothing!
I had put my name down for a two day field trip, accompanying a group of children as they were let loose in the forest paths and trails of Highland Scotland. I had also put my name down to stay overnight in one of the lodges.
I have been trying to drag myself out of my shell and become a little more social. This was obviously one of those I-can-do-this moments. I like walking in hills and climbing things. I like nature. The thing I’m not sure that I like is walking hills, climbing things and doing nature with others. This is mostly because I do things slowly. I don’t walk, I amble and all these people that I am going with are not amblers…they march and they walk quickly. It seems that no matter how far in the front I begin, inevitably, I end up trailing in at the end. I actually don’t mind being overtaken, but I do mind coming in last.
So, the meeting was today, at lunch time, to discuss details. I had been away for the previous week because of the funeral. I had deadlines for various projects to meet. I hadn’t filled in the proper forms to be away from work for two days. There were more people on the trip than they had anticipated. Even sleeping arrangements were proving to be difficult to allocate because there was one woman too many! It just seemed the perfect conditions to absent myself. No one was going to be inconvenienced.
There I was, with the organiser, the first person to arrive at the meeting. The words were just about to fall out of my mouth.
I said nothing. I kept quiet.
Actually, I didn’t keep totally quiet. Part of the first day walk involves a very steep hill climb. I have done the trip before, but never done the steep climb bit, on account of there always being some child that for some reason or other can’t do it. Last year it was blisters. The year before that it was potential asthma attacks. I have always volunteered to accompany the non-steep-climbers along a low route back to the car park.
“But they will all go up the steep hill climb!” said one lady.
I am all for getting some of the younger generation to do some exercise but I have a real problem with setting a challenge that some of them just can’t meet. It is not always a matter of don’t-want-to but simply-can’t. You can’t just expect these youngsters who sit in front of computers or TV at home to suddenly find the resources to climb a steep hill!
Truth to tell, making the younger generation do the steep hill climb isn’t really my concern – making me do it is what concerns me! It’s this one not-so-youngster who sits in front of the computer or the TV that is unlikely to find the resources to climb a steep hill!