I suspect that many people would consider the preparation for an endurance event is purely about getting physically fit enough to complete it unscathed (or at least reasonably so), but it is more than that; it’s about acquiring the skills needed, for example map reading and navigation, it’s about making sure that you are mentally up for the challenge, so ironing out any confidence issues and weaknesses, and also testing the kit that you need to make the event as comfortable as possible.
Although I’m an ex-cartographer and photogrammetric surveyor, who can interpret maps, and has a pretty good sense of direction, I haven’t yet learned to triangulate my position or plan a route using a map and compass. OK, I suspect that following coastal paths isn’t going to be particularly challenging navigation-wise, but if I had to deviate off course for any reason I don’t want to end up walking miles further than I need to because I have no idea where I am. Also it would be extremely embarrassing if I got lost and had to be rescued by the charities I’m raising money for. Could you imagine! I’d never live it down. I may even have to leave the country out of embarrassment. So over the summer, one way or another, I shall learn to map read.
Mentally I think I’ll be OK. I like being on my own a lot of the time, I don’t get lonely, so I don’t think walking miles without seeing anybody will faze me. Plus, historically, once I’ve set my mind to something I do it and I figure if I have managed not to quit uni despite the many times that I’ve wanted to I can stick with a long walk…oh my, I may well write a blog post all about the “joys” of formal higher education. To give you some idea of how I felt at one stage, I had said during an offload that I’d rather hit myself repeatedly in the face with the brick than try and get my head around statistics because it would be marginally less painful! I had a love-hate relationship with uni.
And finally, it’s so important to get your kit sorted before you go. Nothing worse than blisters because your footwear or socks rub your feet raw for example…oh hang on, there are worse things, such as learning statistics. Still, only another 3 1/2 weeks until I have officially finished university and I no longer have to give Wilcox’s Chi squared thingime wotsits (or whatever the hell they’re called) another thought. I must admit though [whispers] getting a significant result to a test is quite buzz…oh my god look at that p-value, it’s 0.006! Oh my…rubs thighs…