When the going gets tough, the tough get going. When I first read that in a school magazine (relating, I believe, to the then athletics captain, a diminutive chap, whipping Xavier in some long distance race) I was taken at how pithy it was. I then discovered over a period of time that it is an awful cliché and is to be avoided at all costs. Trouble is, it contains a grain of truth that I can’t ignore and I was forced to wrestle it out of my mind on the weekend as the winter rain caught our Nepal group out in the open. Admittedly not as wet an adventure as we had last year but in this case there were a lot of other walkers on the track practising for the OXFAM event. Which prompts me to say there are a lot of people out there getting ready for OXFAM who should not be on that track. When you watch people picking their way down rocks they are clearly not comfortable with it is obvious why the event attracts so many accidents. Anyway, as they plodded the other way, heading down into the gully we had just climbed out of there was only one person who was clearly enjoying themselves. Everyone else hunkered down into their jackets (mistake) and clearly wanted to be somewhere else. as they grumbled past looking and sounding very sorry for themselves. The usual cheery greetings from walkers headed the other way vanished altogether or were reduced to a muttered hello from within the dark hoods people were wrapping around themselves. They were in stark contrast to my colleagues who understood the need to keep dry clothes for a dry environment, and who ploughed on in the rain, offering up the usual cheeriness to other walkers and who continued their good humour until we got to the rail station and had a chance to get towelled off and changed. I watch and listen as soaked bodies laugh and josh around as they attempt to mop up and get dry clothes on. The headline that crowed Mr Sim’s success comes back to mind and I think, well, there is a truism in that line, yet it is in errror. For when it gets tough, it’s the high spirited, charismatic, irrepressible, lovely tempered, good-natured, gentle and generous-hearted who get going.
The Annapurna Circuit 2012 record of the story started here with our training regime (Cowan – Berowra Waters return/16km)
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