Forward motion is bliss. Pulking along an Arctic plateau is not hard. There’s really not that much to it. I am not a particularly skilled individual, born with Arctic-ninja skills that allow me to enjoy and make progress in the Arctic. I wasn’t in the army nor was I born with parents who taught me how to make fire and survive in extreme environments, no. I was a normal child, yes with a little adventure spirit, but I was also pretty damn good at watching Disney films whilst enjoying fish fingers and ketchup. I loved Nintendo 64 as much as the next person.
I am not doing this blog for anyone but myself but if it happens to provide some enjoyment/interest to others, that’s just a bonus.
I am not a writer and the words that I’ll write on here will I’m sure, have a lot of errors and could’ve been written in a more beautiful form. So for that, I apologise.
This is, I suppose, an ‘adventure’ blog. However, I don’t want that to put people off. Yes I will write about some adventurous memories/moments etc but I am trying to draw connections to the real world too and be as honest as I can.
I’ve always written diaries particularly when I’m out on expeditions. I use them as a place to release and reflect. Reflecting is something we don’t put time aside for in the modern Western world. By writing a diary insert at the end of every day, for example, writing about a near death experience a few hours after it happened. This can not only put it in perspective of just how terrible it could’ve been, but also how lucky you are to have got through it.. You are more likely to learn from this experience.. Let’s hope so.
So that is what this is all about. A few memories and thoughts of Lucy.
I was gripped into the ice wall by just the front two spikes of my crampons that were tied as tight as I could get them to go on the outside of my red plastic boots. At this moment I really regretted not buying my own top of the range shiny new crampons. It was so unlike me; I almost always go for the gear with the best reviews from all of the gear nerds who like to refer to numbers and weight to give their review a little bit more gut than the last nerd. At least if I’d bought new crampons, there was nothing more I could’ve done if I did happen to hurtle down the side of the 6100 metres mountain. Instead I’d decided to save my money and rent out some rusty, worn out and half blunt crampons that were loose at the best of times. It was freezing. I mean bloody freezing. I’d been freezing before, I’d spent plenty of time in the Arctic before. Arctic Lucy I’m often called. But that’s a different kind of cold to the one when you’re at the top of a mountain, after climbing for 8 hours and unable to breathe. My body was shivering uncontrollably as the morning sun began to rise which made the crampon-gripping situation even worse. We’d set off at midnight and had climbed all night. Now the ice was warming up with the sun’s rays. I could feel myself grinding down the only contact I had to the mountain wall but there was nothing I could do. Continue reading “A moment of panic”→
I do wonder where the desire to punish my body, mind and soul comes from. I’m not saying this in a spiritual godly way. I’m not religious in any sense really. I am God, we are all our own Gods. We make our decisions. We control what we can in our lives. We push the boundaries, if we want to.
I’ve wanted to push my boundaries for years now. Ever since the first one got pushed, perhaps that was when I was 14 and took off from my country home in Suffolk to do work experience in the Department of Commerce in Washington D.C. I said goodbye to my parents and flew off across the Atlantic on my own, well with a plane full of strangers. I was completely comfortable with the journey I was embarking on. Or maybe it was getting to the top of a 20 metre rope hanging from a tree as a child… An adventurous trigger can happen anytime.
Adventures are unique. They can be big or small to provide satisfaction. Personally, these adventures, especially the longer and/or challenging ones provide a perspective. It reminds us of something we should not forget but are all guilty of, how lucky we are. The danger I put myself into by stepping out the door to do these expeditions, is self-inflicted and therefore it is still a danger that I count myself lucky to have had the opportunity to experience, even if it has deadly risks.
I only really get fully satisfied when I’m doing or planning something that tests me. This basically means that I’m always wanting to do something new, and therefore I have good practice at not being very good at things and then, these things eventually, after trial and error, become something I know how to control and manage and most of the time, enjoy.
Now all of this only goes for individual achievements, relationships are not something you can control, relationships/friendships have another person on the other side, also having input. I’ve learnt the hard way that relationships are not like individual goals and selfish achievements. They are totally apart and scare me even more so than all of my adventures put together. But that’s another story with an unknown ending eh?