Well we did it. On Friday night at half past midnight Jess and I joined our little gaggle of girl friends and started towards Snowdon. Thankfully the driving rain had stopped and although damp it was not very cold. We had been warned that the path started with a very, very steep road and that we were to take it easy. The golden rule being not to pass the chap who was pacing us. Jess, Emma and I were up front chatting, heads down focusing on following in the footsteps of the person in front when we all fell silent.
Although I could feel we were going up I had no idea how steep it was and so was just intent on putting one foot in front of the other. I was concentrating so hard I had not realised that Emma had stopped. Given we we were way up front Jess and I stopped and waited to see if the rest of the group caught up with us but after a while we got so cold we simply frog marched back up to the front group and carried on. On the basis that there was little we could do if they had given up. Jess sent a text to Linden, the one that was most likely to be still heading up, and just hoped they were all together. The reply came a little later “just a summer stroll”. Linden, it seemed, was helping to encourage the rest of the group slowly up the mountain.
We got to the summit in 2.5 hours and after a very brief photo shoot we turned round and headed back down. About half a mile down we stumbled across the rest of our group heading up. We exchange some encouragement and tips and Jess and I carried on down. There was no ways I was going back up! Taking a steady pace down we made it in 2.5 hours so in total we took 5 hours to do the whole thing. 9 miles and over 1000 metres. My little fitbit was boasting 30,000 steps and over 300 flights of stairs. At this point we got a text from Linden saying “descending in tourist mode”, we collapsed in laughter, went to the car for a nap whilst we waited for their return which came nearly 2 hours later.
We all had breakfast together and spent Saturday in and out of bed trying to catch up on some sleep. That night we had a lovely meal at Dylans
which was a beautiful restaurant overlooking the river. It was a very fulfilling and magical weekend where, in my eyes, Linden who is the fittest of us all, was the true hero given there was no ways I could have slowed down to the pace of the rest of the team. Psychologically it would have simply done me in.
It is these challenges that really highlight whats makes one tick. I have known I am very goal driven and hugely competitive, mostly with myself, so for me the challenge was completing the task in the shortest time possible. Given it was dark and there was simply nothing to see that was not difficult on the ascent, however, the view coming down was somewhat distracting, as was the slippery surface so our descent was no quicker then our ascent. I’d always thought I was a team player, and whilst to some extent I might be, on the whole I am not. I will support a team but clearly only on my own terms. Throughout this challenge I have been happy to organise walks, encourage people to train and put in the effort to raise funds but I could not claim to go above and beyond. One thing I am, and always will be, is upfront. I feel it is important for others to know my strengths and weaknesses when wanting me to participate in events like this. Learning about my team ethics at least gives me the chance to explain that to a group so they can take advantage of what I have to offer and not expect me to offer what I can’t.
So once again this was a challenge not only in a physical sense but an opportunity to grow and learn about myself. One question I have been asked is whether I would do it again the answer to which is “maybe”. I would like to go up Snowdon on a nice day and enjoy the views, I also loved where we were in Wales and would love to spend a week there with my bike doing some exploring. Linden and Bernie found some lovely trails to cycle. I’d also use AirBnB again and book Delyth’s beautiful apartment