Friday, 12 August 2011

Goals and Gold

Everything was against us at work yesterday. It was windy, raining, the river levels were low and the tides were wrong. Sometimes, days just throw you two fingers.

What did we do? Not a lot. What did I get from it? Quite a lot.

Some days give you gold.

I am in a privileged position. New to this outdoor industry, I am blessed to be surrounded by seasoned professionals who are constant sources of encouragement and inspiration. I am lucky to be learning from the best. I am working with people who I not only look up to and respect, but also feel 'alongside', individuals who are quickly becoming friends as well as colleagues. I want to always surround myself with people that will help me better myself. And likewise I want to continually learn how to become one of those people myself.

It's incredible to think of all the mammoth changes that have taken place in such a short period.

This time last year I was busy being a stay at home Mama to Ffion. Playing outdoors and getting her and I out on the mountains when we could. But that was about the extent of my 'adventurous activities' at that time. I had never climbed before, aside from mucking about as a young child at Harrisons Rocks in the South East of England, while my older brother climbed.

Now I practically live, breathe, even eat climbing... literally. This past year I have become more aware of my eating habits, and having already lost a stone, I am aiming to lose another, as well as continually improving my fitness levels and strength. I try and keep up to date with stories and developments in the climbing world, as well as reading and learning and being inspired by climbers from the past, with their first ascents of now seminal routes.

But most importantly, as mentioned above, I try and surround myself with inspirational individuals.

So what leaps do I hope to have made by this time next year?

Primarily, I want to just get out and climb as much as is possible when you're a single mum, studying full time as well! With experience will come improvements.

I have also applied for a job at the outdoor centres I have been working at, which I will have an interview for in September. This is a massive opportunity for me to be able to continue my professional, and personal, development.
I want to work with the type of people that, despite the wind and the rain, the low water levels, and awkward tide times, I can still come away from the day feeling like I have gained from the conversations that were had, the experiences that were shared and the inspiration that was passed on.

So when days throw you the two fingers, throw them right back at it...


  1. That's a pretty awesome way to turn pessimism into a very positive approach; is serendipitous learning the best learning that can occur?

    You are going through some very powerful reflective experiences and by the sounds of things assimilating quality experiences.

    Good effort!

  2. For some reason that second sentence made me think of star wars... The Force is strong with this one!

    I don't know if serendipitous learning is the 'best' learning that can occur... good question.

    I certainly think it's the most refreshing.

    While it is wonderful that the learning happens by chance or as a by-product, and is motivated by the learner, which aids knowledge retention, I believe the quality of it lies in the learners ability to reflect after such learning has occurred.

    I think objective-driven approaches to learning can be just as powerful, but again I think the effectiveness of this more structured way of learning again lies in the ability to reflect on what one set out to learn, what one has learnt, and what one can continue to learn.