I promise I will never spurn the attentions of a simple ham and tomato sandwich again, however to really appreciate one properly now, I need to work incredibly hard and summit out at about 1,000ft.
The humble buttie was the reward for about four and a half hours training for the Bowmore Ben Nevis challenge. God it tasted fantastic: standing on top on the little hill above the Aberfoyle outdoors centre with the team, having put into practice the lessons from Event leader and founder Ken Hames.
The breaded delight was made all the more tastier as we had been trekking downhill for about 30 or 40 minutes. Clearly much easier than going up hill, which we had already done and to be honest I thought at one point I was going to die, fairly quietly because I was too knackered to make much of a fuss. But we kept going, knowing that on the Ben we have to push on.
Anyhow as we reached to bottom of the hill, Hames gave us one of the harshest lessons, so we could all learn how to manage in the face of more adversity, and told us to go back up the hill and hit the summit.
Hence the sandwich, in one of its most humblest guises, was an excellent reward.
Essentially the Ben Nevis event, supporting Capability Scotland, Scotland’s best known disability organisation, sees teams of disabled and non-disabled people work together to take on the challenge of scaling the UK’s highest peak.
Last weekend we all got together for the first time as a time, and met our disabled captain Daryl.
Billed as a taster weekend, it was incredibly hard and very quickly you managed to get the measure of yourself, not just in terms of physical fitness but mental strength as well. Also it is about forming a bond of trust between everyone, learning each other strengths and weaknesses.
After arriving at the David Marshall lodge, home of the Go-Ape treetop play ground, the mood was confident among the teams, although this dissipated after Hames announced that in his opinion this was the toughest challenge in Britain at the moment; and this from a long serving SAS officer and hardened adventurer.
So after picking our faces and stomachs off the floor, deflated with mild panic at the task ahead, it was time to learn about pushing, pulling, manoeuvering and manhandling the specially adapted wheelchair over obstacles and the mountainside terrain.
First day not so bad, but the second day was the real eye opener – but I think you get the measure of it from the opening paragraphs.
That said there was a real sense of elation having reached the summit and returned; that was just a little hill. The Ben is another 2,000ft on top of it. There will be some emotion and elation when we summit out on it. One thing for certain, this will be a life changer.
So I have set up a justgiving page and would ask that you please give generously as the cause is good: http://www.justgiving.com/Rob-Allanson
If you want to know more about the Challenge then visit: http://www.youtube.com/user/CapabilityScotBNC?feature=mhum#