Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Friends Reunited

Until today, I haven't walked for three years. That long ago I had a fortunate motorcycle accident. This involved trying to pass myself and motorcycle under a crash barrier on a remote Spanish twisty mountain road, and fly without wings over the edge.

Not recommended, but it did have some useful outcomes. I thought at the time I was about to check out-the exact moment was-"I don't think my head is going to fit under that".

I walked away with an ankle broken in 3, and a rearranged perspective on life. I say fortunate accident, as it became a life reassessment moment, and in a roundabout way led me to return to surf kayaking and the discovery of sea kayaking. (And that really was the end of life as I knew it!)

The rather over dramatic introduction of not walking needs some clarification. I refer to mountain walking and the reuniting was with my boots. It was refreshing to get out for a proper walk with some old friends (of the human kind) after such a long time.

I like mountains, enough to have been an active member for over 10 years of a mountain rescue team. My stomping ground was in the Brecon Beacons, the wilder, remoter, west of it. Here I developed a mentality of carrying all the required kit for the "what if" situation. (And the additional kit do deal with the current "has happened" shout.

This mentality seems to have found a home nicely in sea kayaking. Day, Night, Sun, Rain, Wind, Fog, Snow, whatever. Being able to face and deal with the weather mother nature decided upon is very empowering, to the extent that her moods lacked respect (within the remit of our sub 1000m operating zone I should stress).

The sea on the other hand (or foot) has the greatest of my respect.

I hope it always stays that way.

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