Heavy rain all day was what the forecasters predicted.
This set off my inner dialogue into a negative spiral – “it’ll be a nightmare, just give it a miss and stay at home”.
I’d all but abandoned my plans for a day in the hills, setting my sights instead on tackling the chores around the house.
But then I paused for a moment and contemplated the crossroads in front of me.
One route was the sensible, logical and “normal” decision. I’d stay warm and dry and tick a few things off my domestic to do list.
The other was a risk. I could end up freezing cold, soaked and exhausted, with a £40 petrol bill burning a hole in my pocket and an even bigger pile of dirty washing left to get through.
Yet there was a chance I’d experience the joys of wilderness walking and get a hit of the outdoor adventure I crave for.
I really couldn’t decide. I was torn between both options.
The maverick in me wanted to go for it – “maybe the forecasters got it wrong, it could be awesome”, I thought.
But, without wanting to come across like a madman, another voice in my head spoke up too, reeling off a never-ending list of excuses.
“You didn’t sleep well last night, you should chill out today”, “can you be bothered with the long, boring drive?” and “it’s miserable getting drenched by torrential rain” were just a few of the arguments put forward.
A couple of years ago I would have let the excuses win. I’d have gone for the safer, relaxing, lazy option – wasting my day off watching trashy TV and making a half-hearted attempt at the chores.
This approach however always left me unfulfilled.
I’d end up sacrificing my long-term goals and dreams in favour of the easy, short-term, inside-my-comfort-zone option.
These days however I’ve trained myself to ignore the excuses and just go for it. And I’ve never regretted this new philosophy.
I’ve felt more alive. It’s reinvigorated me and added a newfound buzz and excitement to life. It’s brought me some amazing, memorable experiences that I’d otherwise have missed out on.
But the same old doubts and excuses often re-surface and so it took all of my self-control to make the right decision last week.
I forced myself to ignore the adverse weather predictions, turn a blind eye to the dishes and washing, and instead head to the mountains around Elan Valley in Mid-Wales.
And fortune favoured the brave – the forecasters were wrong, the sun shined and the rain stayed away.
I had a brilliant day out in the wild, climbing Drygarn Fawr and Gorllwyn from Caban-coch Reservoir.
Crossing a raging stream balancing on a wobbly branch in the first 10 minutes gave me an immediate dose of adrenaline.
An amusing safety sign on the ascent put a smile on my face while a drinks break in the sun by a lovely waterfall helped me forget about the worries of everyday life.
Reaching the huge, rounded cairns after an uphill slog gave me a real sense of achievement and then battling through gale force winds en route to the second summit was exhilarating and refreshing.
These were great experiences – time for solitude and quiet, adventure and excitement, exercise and nature.
And to think I almost didn’t bother in favour of filing some paperwork and cleaning the kitchen.
So – next time I’m faced with a decision crossroads – I know I’m going to forget the excuses, follow my heart and go for it full throttle.
But for the time being I desperately need to do some washing.