I’m a big fan of both the concept and, more importantly, practice, of ‘lifelong learning’; it always dismays me when I meet contemporaries who seem to have given up on learning new stuff, developing themselves and exploring life a wee bit more, but I really love hanging about with people who love to expand their minds and grow a bit. One of the many great aspects to the life of a ‘freelance’ instructor is the opportunity to work alongside a range of other professionals, watching how other folks organise and manage their work, how they deal with difficult situations and generally get better at doing what they do.
The last couple of weeks have given me a fair bit of variety on that front; including a Bronze DofE exped around Aberfoyle with Venture On, four days covering a charity walk for 2,000 young people on Tinto courtesy of Atlas Mountaineering, the launch of SiMY’s Bike Academy venture with the Bike Station, a bit of personal mountain bike skills development with the excellent Jules Fincham over at Cyclewild Scotland, then a weekend with Christian Aid’s 70 Munros Challenge, before celebrating my 53rd birthday assessing another DofE expedition in Ardgartan for St Roch’s; the local secondary school for many of the young people who come to SiMY.
Reading that list, it’s probably not a surprise to discover that this post is being typed from the comfort of my own bed as I enjoy a belated birthday ‘lie in’. There’s a massive amount to take in from the last couple of weeks, not least from the opportunity to ‘people watch’ all those young people and their teachers plodding up Tinto, seeing how they dealt with the physical and psychological challenges of what, for many of them, appeared to be their first day out on a decent sized hill. If I was giving out a prize for Infectious Enthusiasm though, it’d have to go to Mr Fincham; I think he’s probably had around the same amount of birthdays as me, but still leads by example with his desire to learn as well as teach, not to mention ignoring the manufacturer’s specifications on bike and body – if I break myself in the near future, it’ll probably be his fault 🙂