Sunday, 8 January 2012

A change of plan and a plan to change

I normally have a wee internal chuckle to myself every year when folk rave on about their New Years Resolutions. I usually resolve to not make any empty promises (even if it's just to myself) but this year, given the state of my lungs, I decided to get on board and have resolved to get my hill fitness back to a fashion. Last year was a monumentally crap year for me hill wise due to a number of factors ranging from working excessive amounts of overtime meaning I had very little free time, to poor health and just a simple lack of motivation.

I've also never been a fan of fad diets or special training regimes to make you better at a particular sport etc. The best way to be a better hill walker or runner is to go walk up some hills and go out and run. So this year I decided I'm going to do just that. I'm going to make more time for me and I'm going to spend it doing what I've always loved. So it's bloody typical that when I went out for a run around the local park on Monday there, I was struck down immediately with the manflu common cold and its been all snotters and sore sinuses since.

I was then, insanely jealous when I saw that some other bloggers had gotten out to appreciate the briefest of weather windows at the end of this week. If I'm honest though I could've probably forced myself yesterday when the cloud cover was a little more broken up, but the allure of a comfy couch and a pizza after a cheeky wee pint down the local was far more appealing.

Today however I was feeling a little better and I was willing even if the weather wasn't. I had intended to go for a wee wander over the moors and hills at Muirkirk. It's been a while since I was out that direction and its as strenuous as you want it to be. Perfect...until I saw how low and miserable the cloud cover actually was. Not to be beaten and determined I was going to go for a walk anyway, I decided to pull in and go for a wander amongst Dungavel woods instead. It's popular with dog walkers but hey, there's nothing wrong with that. Oot is oot right?



I set off up the damp track amongst the trees and the mist. There wasn't much to see or any big views as I'd intended but you don't always need them. When taking the lower level option due to poor weather it's vitally important not to think of it as the "lesser" option. Sometimes its just about getting out and putting one foot in front of the other (and repeat) for a while. I always find that when I take a poor weather route I stop looking up for the pointy spectacular stuff and start looking down and all around me. There's always something of interest, in fact I remember once even seeing an ant ride a caterpillar!



I'm glad I went, it was very pleasant plodding along minding my own business and generally just daydreaming. I met a dog walker just as I left the truck behind and he was the last person I saw till I got home. The trail was very sheltered and quiet although it must've taken a battering during the recent high winds as there were a few trees down. I was on easier ground than I'd intended so I kept my pace up and even managed to break into a sweat which just meant I appreciated the cool breeze blowing the mist into my face that little bit more.


Its so long since I enjoyed the simple act of going for a regular walk that I'm wondering what the hell happened to me over the last year?? Anyway it doesn't matter too much as I've been poring over maps and routes like a man possessed recently so I must have my mojo back or something like that! This year is gonna be all about being outside.



  1. It is all about forcing yourself out isn't it sometimes. I must have pressed Snooze on Saturday morning eight times as I kept shouting at myself to get my fat arse out of my pit. Too many times at the moment I keep meaning to get out more then when it comes to it I am lame and don't push myself. I need to remember I have to push myself in order to keep fit and get outdoors.

    Always angers me that the equation to help myself towards a healthy life is so ridiculously simple yet for some reason I still end up up overweight and lethargic. I too want to make sure I get fit this year and force my backside out of the house, even if just a simple walk down to the river.

    We'll have to meet up soon, maybe bank holiday in Spring and get up Ben Lomond again, this time with sun and views!

    I forgot to comment on your last post btw as I read it on the tram. Had me worried reading it! Hope this year is a better one matey and hope I can be a part of it even if its just one day on a mountain!

    If you guys ever want a change of scenery and fancy coming staying at ours for a weekend and doing a Peak or Snowdonia walk then you are more than welcome!


  2. Aye we should get an outing organised soon Jamie...Ben lomond on a nice eveneing would a great option.

    It's soo long since I've been near a tent that I'll need to double check the pitching instructions before I hit the hills though!

    I'll speak to Louise about the school holidays for a visit too.

  3. Glad you're getting out there Sandy, it will do you're health a world of good, all that unpoluted mountain air. Did some walking around my block in Jindivick yesterday and had the company of hundreds of butterfies. You hardly see them in the suburbs now. A family of kookaburras were also interested in my stroll. You and Lou will love to visit this place come Christmas. Love your photos

  4. We can't wait till this Christmas Anita! We are saving and making plans like mad. So much to do and so much to fit in when we come over next.

    Can't wait to see your part of Oz in the summer either, last time I spent a summer "Down under" it was mostly spent working in Sydney.

    I've a feeling next Christmas and Hogmanay will be fairly epic!


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