Last year my daughters clubbed together and bought me a one-day gliding course for my birthday. I finally got round to taking the course yesterday. That's my glider and the instructor (leaning on glider) in the photo. It turned out to be a very interesting day and left me puzzling over my own mental make-up. In the end I declined the third flight and I'm still analysing why. I think it has to do with my attitude to risk. I think that I'm very risk averse. I've done some things that some people would consider risky such as packing in a very secure job to go freelancing. I'd quite happily disappear into the mountains on my own too but both of these things to me were/are low risk because I do my homework first and make sure they are safe. The freelance market was very healthy and I have a lot of experience in finding my way around in the hills and always take emergency supplies.
With the gliding I decided that there were just too many safety factors outside of my control. The flights were in fact lessons not simple joyrides. It was like your first three driving lessons except in 3-D. The sky was full of other gliders and the tug aircraft: above, below, left, right, in front and behind. It was like the Battle of Britain in silent slow motion. Also, despite the hot weather the thermals were hard to find. Comments from the instructor like "We've not got enough height to get back to the airfield" don't help when you're trying not to put the glider into a terminal tailspin. So I decided not to take the third lesson on offer. I felt obliged to because my girls had spent (too much of) their hard earned money on the course but ultimately I knew that they'd not want me to go up just for that reason alone.
Ever since then I've been wondering about what makes me tick and why. For example most sports that don't involve a significant amount of graft don't do anything for me. I've never taken to any form of motorised sport (because we never had a car when I was growing up?). I'd rather do cross country skiing than downhill. I'd rather ride a pushbike than a motorbike. Even then I don't like haring downhill out of control. I use hand hedge trimmers rather than electric trimmers (and I have far too much hedging). I'd rather handwash my car than stick it through a car wash (at least once a year). I sometimes think I was born 50 years too late. Having said that I think we probably did lead a 1930's lifestyle being fairly hard up in the 60's. I think that that is at the root of all this. Because we didn't have anything when growing up I probably subconsciously regard any luxuries as extravagance and anything not earned is not worth having. I'm not sure what all this is telling me. I dread to think what it's telling you!
I reckon I've had a fairly pensive week so far. I'll get over it soon I hope. I've certainly not had a fairly high mileage week. Apart from my long run on Monday and a short run on Wednesday I've done naff all. I'd intended to do a long road run today but went out last night to the aforementioned Rod's (see previous post) and indulged in too many but very nice red wines. I've been dehydrated and hungover all day. What a waste (although I did get to finish Everest the Hard Way. Must be nearly thirty year since I last read that). I'm now officially on the wagon until the evening of September 8th (Jungfrau day).
Going to check out the new office in the morning. No showers and an extra 10 miles on the M25. Lovely.