Tuesday, 5 July 2011
The 2011 Challenge, Epilogue (2)
At Challenge Control I learned just how bad the weather we had experienced this year had been. Seasoned veterans of the infamous 1983 Challenge swore blind that the weather this year had been worse, making it, officially, the wettest Challenge ever. The attrition rate had been high - but not as high as 2009.
I leafed through the comments book, and was especially struck by Caburn's comment: "This year, the legendary Challenge camaraderie was EVERYTHING. I'd lost the will to live by the end of day 3."
I kinda knew what he meant, and yet ...
Well, let's just say that for me, the hill and the weather and everything else I encounter as I walk, well, they are the challenge. And I take my pleasure in meeting that challenge, whatever it may be, and in rising to overcome it. Looking back, I'm pleased to have been there. But, more to the point, at the time I ENJOYED BEING THERE no matter what.
Yes, the enjoyment to be had from a soggy, bog-hopping yomp through the rain with limited visibility is a different sort of enjoyment from that which is to be had from a perfect ridge walk on a clear day with unlimited visibility. But I come on the Challenge for two weeks of solitude. Two weeks when the world of London and the insolvency courts are far, far away. Two weeks when Application Forms and Witness Statements and Court Bundles and impossibly unreasonable demands from unbelieveably self-important opponents are not my worry.
I can get that in the rain just as well as I can get it in the sunshine.
And this year I felt that I had had it in abundance.