“I think something a lot of people don’t necessarily understand about the massive adventures vs smaller adventures, is that a massive adventure is pretty much nothing more than lots of little adventures put together. For me, every single day is its own little adventure and that has its own little high and low points; put them all together and that creates a massive adventure.
“The way I deal with a massive adventure from psychological point of view is by breaking them down to make them achievable. That way, when you do a shorter adventure or a microadventure, you still get the same sort of satisfaction; every time I’m doing something smaller, it’s because I’m probably thinking about something bigger. You could arguably say that it’s part of that experience: if you’re going to try out a new piece of kit, or a different way of doing things – maybe a bivvy instead of tent or a more challenging route. Everything you’re doing out on the mountain, whether you’re swimming cycling or running, it’s all about becoming better at what you do, so when you do the bigger stuff, you’re better prepared and have more chance of succeeding.
“If you go into a big adventure with enough of the skills and practice and most importantly, the building up of your self-confidence, you’ll be able to take it on without feeling so daunted. You will attack it not thinking ‘am I going to do this?’, but instead, ‘I am going to do this so how am I going to do this?’. I like to use the little stuff as training.
“But sometimes, it’s not just about the physical. Sometimes we get overwhelmed with everything else that’s going on in the world and just going for a walk is the opportunity to clear your head, the opportunity to rejig everything in your mind, make sure all the jigsaw pieces are in the right places and that you are balanced and happy. Because if you get out of sync, then everything else goes out of sync. Sometimes, just a walk, across a fell or up a mountain, allows you to stop, pause, think and then restart.”