Ben Nevis

Ben Nevis

People often wonder what Carers, office staff and managers do when not looking after the needs of our service users and their needs.

Today I am thrilled and pleased to write our first ever blog, whilst on my holiday. And it is so fitting that my blog is about my big climb up Ben Nevis. As l drove up the A82, I was asking myself could that be the mountain, they all look very high up. The morning of the climb, I took a walk to the Commando memorial to have a look from a distance what I had signed myself up for, and that was the first time l knew which mountain was Ben Nevis🙈😂.

We met our guide at 8.30am at the Ben Nevis Inn, and he set us off straight away, there was no faffing about. The one thing he said was to take our time and not rush, reserve energy for the harder parts that are to come. It’s human nature to want to fire away and beat the record time you read on other blogs.

Within half an hour into the walk my bag was getting heavy, my leggings were making me too hot, after an hour I was sweating and I had every excuse under the sun. A gentleman who was in our party found it too hot and was humble enough to say l can’t do it, he left and went back down. I was thinking of joining him too. At 67yrs old and 23 degrees heat it was too much for him. As you go up you start asking silly questions, like one lady saying does it get any steeper🤣. “Yes love it’s plain sailing” the jogger shouted on his descend. People were asking what’s it like at the top and it was interesting to know not everyone makes it to the top. A young gentleman said he found it too hot, as he was diabetic the heat had not helped. You find clothing and food parcels left on the path side as people offload their too heavy bags. The views are spectacular pictures don’t do them justice.

I made it to the top and it was such a humbling experience. There was a sense of comradery amongst all the climbers. The climb played with my mind there were highs when l was singing the chorus to Bon Jovi’s ‘Livin on a prayer’ and there were lows when I just wanted to throw in the towel. I met people who were doing it for charity, some like me were ticking off bucket lists. The sheer excitement at the summit was amazing, people calling friends and family to share their excitement. The views were amazing and the guide told us the weather was on our side. The climb down was not easy but we made it down and a pint of beer shandy at the Inn was best way to finish off the walk.

Our colleague who couldn’t make it up the top was happy for us and he had a sense of regret that he had not done it. I felt empathy for him and I said we would take him up on another day whilst we were still here. Everyone looked at me with an are you crazy stare. I didn’t think anything of it. In the morning, the weather focus was good and I said “Let’s go”. He apologised for even thinking that anyone would want to go up Ben Nevis twice, he had had his chance and he blew it. I said I would take him up on one condition, l packed a bag for him, as the day before he had packed the kitchen sink. He couldn’t believe it, neither could l. We drove back up to the Inn and at 9.44am we started the climb.

He made it to the top of Ben Nevis albeit the heat which was 19 degrees. The trick was to take it at his own pace. For me day two was about enjoying the views, making memories, and I was able to talk about my faith, appreciate life and the things we all take for granted.

Lessons learnt from the two walks

  • At times, I just need to do some things in bitesize chunks and get them done.
  • Perseverance, a full body workout what it really feels like
  • Walking Ben Nevis put me out of my comfort zone.

As healthcare workers we work hard, and taking timeout to do outdoor activities is great for our mental health, general fitness and wellbeing which is something we advocate at Nyadowa Care. It was good to see people almost back to leading a normal life, with keeping distance when walking and I believe we are on the path to some sort of recovery from the pandemic. We will still keep up with the good work we are doing of keeping everyone safe at all times. Things can only get better I shall sign off with D:REAM.

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