When we are walking alone we perhaps notice more about our surroundings than when we walk with a companion. I know that when I am alone, I take greater care of where I place my feet, what the weather is doing, what smells drift past me and how I see. I mainly walk with others, I enjoy walking with friends and family and I am far more familiar with this but when I ended up alone in the Lake District for half a week I was determined to go and explore without the comfort of being accompanied. The weekend before I had been nervous and apart from researching a little I tried to push it from my mind.
I was lucky and the Lakes greeted me with fine weather, my adventure had begun. I quickly researched some simple walks and the area of Greendale caught my attention. It was described as a remote walk up to Greendale Tarn, perfect. I drove an hour and parked on some grass: packed a small rucksack and headed up the hill. The path followed the river all the way up to Greendale tarn. After an hour and a half walk up, I was hot from the steep incline and said to myself all the better for cooling off. I tried to use any excuse to push me to take the plunge.
Learning from my first dip in Spitchwick River I was going to try and find an area in the tarn that wasn’t only knee height. I skirted around the tarn until the reeds stopped and the water turned obsidian, this was the spot. Looking around, I was completely alone; this was another reason why I should go for a swim. I set a camera up, whipped my clothes off revealing my mismatched bikini and grabbed my go pro. One step, two steps, three steps, breathe. I have watched films where people make this look easy, for me, it is far from easy, far from elegant as I slip and slide, gasp, pant, and make many hissing noises from my mouth and panicked facial expressions. What I realise in the fleeting moments is that my brain is recognising pain and has already decided that to go deeper means sudden death, I push on and when I get the courage to dunk, my brain is totally proved wrong, my upper body isn’t even that fussed by the cold and it’s suddenly quite easy. I have proved my instincts wrong and I swim forward. However, another part of my brain now decides that most definitely something is beneath me in the black. I try to touch the floor and when I can’t the panicked expression comes back. I can swim well but suddenly my imagination takes over and I decide to swim a little more and then swim to get out. I clumsily climb out, feeling a lot like the little mermaid trying to walk for the first time. I jump up and down to keep warm and slowly pull my clothes back on, my leggings sticking to my wet legs. I feel revitalised and full of courage. I take in the views as I walk back down to my car, watching every step I place on the wet rocky path. As I get back to my car, the light starts to fade and I sit inside the car marveling at how invigorating my adventure had been.
The Space Outside // Knowledge and Wisdom is being launched on my website, www.shimnixfilms.co.uk, on the 1st January 2018. Start the year right, by listening to some incredible people share their ideas of what adventure means to them.