There is a first time for eveything

It is funny sometimes how you feel that you are on top of things, when something comes along that really pulls the rug out from under you – and you realise that you are not.

The past weeks have been busy, the day to day worries and niggles of the various projects I am involved in and also entering into the hot planning phase for the Climbers’ Forum in Augsburg, as well as ETCC requiring a push with the on-site visit in Deventer, NL, last weekend. But I felt I had everything pretty much under control.

I came back from Deventer Sunday lunchtime, had the afternoon to turn myself around, to leave early the following morning for a basic level one climbing course. I packed the gear and set off shortly after six, I arrived on site, moved all the gear up into the space we use for the theoretical sessions of the courses and was all set to go – with fifteen minutes to spare, nice.

Ahh, coffee time.

When I happened to glance over to Florim, who was also instructing on the course, and saw his hi-viz jacket.

Damn, I think, I have forgotten my hi-viz jacket. Not to mind, I can manage otherwi…

(You ever get that feeling, when rusty cogwheels are struggling to start to turn, but very gradually start to creak into motion, to the sound of metal torturously grinding on metal, with flakes of rust raining down? Well, that was what my mental gears were doing right at that moment)

… se. Hold on. I don’t have a helmet here. In fact… I HAVE FORGOTTEN ALL MY CLIMBING GEAR!

ARGGGGGGH. Whisky! Tango! Foxtrot!

Yes, arghh indeed. There is a first time for everything, but driving to a climbing course and forgetting to pack your climbing gear takes the biscuit. 😂 In my defence, I think what happened is that somehow I felt I had just come back from an event, ergo my gear is in the vehicle, which normally it would be – yet in this instance it was not, as I did not need any climbing gear for the on-site visit. A mind is a funny thing. Even more so, as when I loaded the demo gear into the back of the vehicle I even thought to myself that there was a lot of space – as there would be if you do not pack half the gear!

So, I let the others run the first session (as planned), legged it back home, grabbed the gear and was back in time for the first coffee break – 150km later.

Whilst the story has a humorous side to it, it does make you realise how overload can be quite insidious, creeping up on you , catching you blissfully unaware. Incidents like this really bother me, as I am usually really diligent to ensure this kind of thing does not happen, and it highlights in a rather inescapable way that your thoughts are elsewhere. My response to yesterday is simply to recognise that I am obviously running at somewhat higher revs, and therefore if in doubt to double-check step by step.

One thing you can be sure of, I will certainly double check this morning before I leave the house that I am not forgetting anything blindingly obvious!

Par exemple.