Posts Tagged Vital Grooves
A gorgeous clear morning and forecast for the whole day, probably one of the nicest sunny days of 2017 so far and luckily we were able to “carpe diem” and head to the hills for another Munro bagging expedition, this time in the Arrocher Alps region near Loch Lomond.
A lovely drive and we were parked and ready to go, this time with much less need for such heavy extra layers, gloves and earwarmers and more in need of sunglasses and even a touch of sunscreen! This was a new Munro bagging experience for me! I had started my first MUNRO bagging in December when the wintery cold weather was just setting in, but one great thing about the cold is the dissappearance of certain undesireable insects, the midges and ticks!
So off we went up the track path for a small section and then cut up to follow the route. Since the weather was warming, there was a melt going on and the stoney path was resembling a small stream in places. Quite a steep section this first bit, and not long till we were all pretty warm in this spring sunshine.
As you will see if you view the VLOG in the link above, the views were incredible at every turn, simply breathtaking! Most of the start to this hike was fairly straight forwards, but as we ascended it got more rugged and steep in sections which was a little more challenging and required focus on the footholds. I had not done much “scrambling” the official word for rock clambering, except in my youth as kid by the beaches on the west coast. The scrambling began to become a lot more serious once we approached the part called the Spearhead. At this section we had to use hands to grip rocks and pull ourselves up certain sections, and it was a long way down if any mistakes were made. I looked down a couple of time but that just made my knees and tummy go weak and I could feel the fear inside me ready to take hold, so with the old pop song by Go West – “Don’t Look Down Girl” in my head, I did just that and persevered onwards and upwards. Behind me were my two hiking buddies, Jim highly experienced with close to 200 Munro’s under his belt so any terrain was not really a chore to him! Grace on the other hand, pardon the pun, literally in some ways due to her wrist injury recovery was struggling a bit with less mobility and that confidence of two strong grabbing working hands to grip the rocks with. Hats off to her for even attempting to do this climb but there did come a couple of points where she was engulfed with the fear and became imovable on sections. Looking back now we can both laugh at the moments when she was suggesting we call mountain rescue and she was not going to budge and further! But as they say, we get by with a little help from our friends and with me up ahead making footholds in the snow for her and coaxing her verbally to keep going and Jim with his sturdy patience at her rear we all made it!
Quite definately the next level of climbing that hill was and I was very glad to be off and over that section, as was Grace most definately! Thank goodness the worst bit was over! Phew…and we did it! A stop for food and it was off to Beinn Ime.
It didn’t look like it was going to take too long to get to that other summit, but boy the hill was a bit deceiving and I was certainly feeling my energy levels dropping a bit and that feeling of “when are we gonna get there” arising as the actual summit was hidden by false appearances. Finally we got there, and again some more snacks and sugary treats to boost the slightly flagging energy levels, then it was back down and past the base of “The Cobbler” another landmark rocky scramble in the same vicinity. One day I will get to that too!
The final hour of walking to get back to the car park was quite tiring, not sure now of out exact timing for this trip but it had been a good 10 hours or more we had been going so we were flagging a bit, well I sure was! Longest day on the hills yet I think…the sunniest and the best views, new skills challenged with the scrambling sections and another two Munro’s bagged, making my grand total now of 9!
Having been a bit out of commission most of January due to injury and illness for any further Munro missions, then subsequently experiencing fears of slipping on ice or any greater injuries with a pending marathon challenge in May, I had ducked out of the bagging for a couple of months for some safer and more low impact exercising to coincide with my training as I repaired and rebuilt my strength. I was battling with the fears in my mind of falling in wintry conditions, unforeseen weather conditions and the desire to tackle another Summit challenge!
My friend and I were both recovering from different injuries and fears of slipping so we took an easy confidence building climb up the Meikle Bin, a lovely local hill walk and not so daunting! Once we hit that, we were both busting for something a bit more challenging so made the decision that we were going to tackle Scheihallion.Our other hill-walking friend Jim thankfully decided to join us last minute and offered to drive, so then there were three in the team for the day!
A snowy cold early morning start and a drive that took us on a bit of a detour high into the hills where the snow was still fresh and thicker on the roads, so on this small single track road we had taken was a bit hairy but our solid driver and his van got us there as always, in one piece and safe!
Bit of a foggy start but the snow on the hills looked lovely and there was a clear path to follow on the ascent for most of the way till we got closer to the summit and where the boulder fields of this hill would usually be found as reported by many other hill-walkers but at this time of year snow had filled in most of the ground around the boulders so there were just some of the tops poking through and this actually made it easier to climb!
All in all this was a pretty straight forward hill, so it was fun and not too treacherous, especially with snow to bound through. We occasionally got cloud clearing and views appearing on the ascent but sadly by the time we got to the summit it was pretty thick and not much could be seen. We stopped there and sheltered among the boulders along with other baggers that were, like us, refueling and hoping at some point the mists would clear and reveal what lay beneath, but alas, only short glimpses and to no great avail, so we packed up and made our decent.
No injuries and plenty of giggles that seemed to be brought on at higher altitudes and with the intake of Jelly Babies that Grace had brought along with her! A great walk, a nice Munro to do in the snow and a great feel good factor from the day, as well as more confidence built again. With each Munro mission, new learning and more experience under the belt. Peanut butter and blackcurrant jam wholemeal rolls seem to have now become the summit snack of choice, along with a tepid (usually) cup of tea to wash them down, seems to hit the spot perfectly for me!
Exercise wise, this Munro bagging is a great all rounder, calorie burning, leg working in many ways and also with the pole use an upper body workout, all in all a bit like using a cross-trainer for 4/5 hours! LOL!
So, No.5. under the belt and over the hurdle that got me stuck after No.4…more to follow…
Earlier today I was speaking to a friend of mine about success. Feeling successful and having done some things that you have made a success of to some extent, are very different. A bit like training for a marathon, in training it is a success to manage a 15 mile run because that is the furthest you have ever run, but it is not the end of the race or through the finish line.
Over the past few years, there have been many small milestones of success I have managed to achieve, some more poignant and visible and others more internal. There are only a few of these milestones that rewarded me with anything apart from the personal satisfaction or improvement I could feel. In 2008 I challenged myself to run my first 10K and at the end of that race there was this great feeling of pride and achievement as I puffed my way through the finish line. The second time I ran that same distance, the achievement hit was less powerful, so the following year I stepped up the challenge to run a half marathon, a bit like a junkie might have to up his dose of a drug to get a better hit the next time.
In parallel to running these distance events I was also running another marathon of sorts, a musical one. I had a goal of sorts in my mind that I was trying to achieve but with this goal there is no finish line, no distance set, no known finish line, no mapped out route, nothing but the distance with no definite successful end point to aim for. So blindly I have been wading my way through the tasks at hand and music expression trying to find some way to success as I envision it to be.
House music in all it’s forms has been my running partner in life race and in more reccent times with greater spiritual awareness and faith, more and more, the map that I am following is drawn out by trusting my inner self and guidance. I don’t make music to a format, I make music from my heart. I don’t try to fit into anything that is already made, I take all that I am, all that is influencing my current state of expression and just allow that to flow, be that to the taste of other or not. I try not to look at others in the race in comparison, just put my blinkers on and keep it moving to the best of my own ability with what I have to hand, because that is all I can do.
I work hard, I have worked on my self, my mind, my body and my soul, my education, built my skills, built music, taught myself a lot of what I know, but still not reached what I feel will be that feeling of success despite exeeding many expectations I had about myself. I get frustrated sometimes because I don’t have all the skills and better equipment I feel I need to make me more successful, or give me a better shot at being successful. But how do you become successful, what is the winning formula that gets you through that golden gate, that is what I am still working on.
The bar seems to just keep rising the closer you feel you are getting to it, but it is partly me that keeps re-setting it really, because even though I achieve a certain stage, once I get there I still don’t feel satisfied, I still want more. I want to build a better tune, I want to write and sing a better song, I want my mastered end products to sound better, they are still not good enough to me, therefore I cannot feel success. Equally I have not been rewarded to any great extent by way of notoriety or financial gain and without that, though the personal satisfaction is there, to have another or others pat you on the back in some way does qualify things just that little bit more.
The only rewards have been my own self satisfaction, the momentary feeling of joy you get when you finish the latest track and you think it is your best track yet, but that soon dies, because you soon get that feeling that you need to make a better one, because the phone is not ringing like mad with people saying how wonderful it was! I amagine though even if the phone did start ringing like mad and one track was deemed brilliant, that after that the race is still on to make another brilliant track, so you are still running that race.
With music, there is only running, there is only the continual marathon, staying in it, keeping it moving, there is no finish line until you give up, if you ever give up, or until you die. This is why I find it is important to do things that have a finish line in tandem with music. I am someone now that needs to feel I’ve got through a finish line in at least something in my life, at least by running and taking part in events as part of my life I get that sense of success and achievement, I get a medal or a certificate to put on my wall, I get the feel good factor of raising some money for others. I get a few pats on the back from others that my music and setting up my own label business doesn’t give me because the fruits of that labour are yet to be harvested and are not visible to others until that day.
As I approach the last months training for my first full marathon on May 27th I am looking forward to getting through that finish line and the feeling of joy that I have achieved something that does have a visible finish line as I continue with my passions and dreams with music that don’t have that same definite route or ending.
When you left the bed felt too big without you
But I got myself together and made it though
Everything happens for a reason they say
At least you inspired me in a creative way
Turns out you were just writing material for me
Some emotions to live and find a way to set free
An experience sent to light my fire
Now with hindsignt I can see the story transpire
Comme Si, comme ca, c’est la vie, life goes on
Whatever happens will just end up in a song
I’m just so glad to have this outlet for expression
It sure beats the blues and feelings of depression