The Right Direction

“Direction is so much more important than speed, many are going nowhere fast” – Unknown

Being sick sucks. I’m so mentally ready to be out there training and pushing myself but I so need to focus on getting better.

While I’m taking it easy I’ve decided to still be productive and stop procrastinating. It’s 15weeks till GeoQuest and I still don’t know how to navigate.

I spent some time last week reading up on plotting courses and choosing attack points. This website explains it really well (it’s heavy at first but hang in there) and had a great printable exercise to do.

Last night Bernard took team mate Alex and myself through his standard orienteering course in the outskirts of the Royal National Park. He taught us how to set and follow bearings from a map, and boy do I have a lot to learn. There are so many steps (which probably seem like one swift action to those in the know) involved in just orientating the map, then working out which direction you need to go. Just when I thought I had it Bernard then asks which direction to walk and all I could think was “Well f**k. We just did this, how do I do it again? I have no idea, where did I start?!…” After some prompting I got it, but wow this is a complicated process to learn.

So far mountain biking had been the hardest thing I’d learnt on this journey to GeoQuest, but I think this will take the cake. Muscle memory forms rather quickly, but being on the ball and constantly taking in your surroundings is so much more challenging. Get into one conversation and you miss a turn – stuffed for hours! Orienteering hurts my brain.

We were out there well after sunset too which was a good experience, I haven’t done much in the dark before, and a stronger head torch is now on my Wishlist. Up to 24hrs of GeoQuest could be spent in the dark so it’s worth spending money on.

The map Bernard gave us has 18 points on it, and we only followed 5 meaning there is plenty of practice to be had on this, let alone the various other orienteering events available. Hopefully there are no “Navigating Noob Lost in Bush” news headlines.

Interestingly I was asked today why I want to do this, and especially at 3am when there’s no one making me race. I haven’t been asked this before so it got me thinking, and here’s why:
– When was the last time you got to learn a new skill? Because in the last 6 months I have learnt from scratch how to Kayak, mountain bike and now navigate (working progress). It’s been a pretty inspiring process realising I am capable of this, and has changed my outlook dramatically
– Don’t you want to know what else you can achieve? Now that I have these new skills it’s fascinating to learn just how far I can push it. Going from a regular person to someone who is good at something is very motivating, you owe it yourself to prove you can do this.
– This is a healthy life choice. Right now I am 100% the fittest I’ve ever been. My meal plan (it’s not a diet, it’s healthy eating) is the cleanest it’s been in years with lots of meats and vegetables and salad. I’ve dropped almost 10kgs since I started training, and I’ve never felt so confident.
– Why not!? While crazy, this is so much fun!

“It feels good to be lost in the right direction”

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