Think back over your life and I’m sure you’ll have lots of memories you can call on. Your first girlfriend (or boyfriend), The first time you bought beer in a pub, your children being born and the first time you.. umm.. Well, you get the idea.
How often do you know in that instant that you’ll remember it forever?
When you think about it, your defining moments were usually chaotic, emotional times and you were so busy doing whatever it was, you just didn’t realise it for what it was.
I know what you’re gonna say… But just think about it for a moment.
When my first was born, people said beforehand that I would never forget seeing him for the first time and that’s true… But I didn’t think “I’m gonna remember this forever” at the time.. I was too busy counting toes, checking the missus was ok and generally worrying, to have the realisation right then and there..
It’s a bit like realising you are dreaming, while you are dreaming.. Or knowing, just as the ball leaves your foot, that it’s going to be a goal.. It just doesn’t happen very often.
I’ve had a few of these moments though.
I was on the top of Bleaklow one one such occasion almost a year ago. I can still feel the wind rushing past my face, through my hair and whipping my clothes. At the time, the clean feeling I had bordered on the spiritual. I can’t describe what I felt inside, but right there, at that exact moment, I knew I’d never forget it.. I knew that I’d have that memory for the rest of my life.
Later, that same day, I was sat round a fire with two of my closest friends, drinking wine and swapping stories. Not the normal, down the pub, guess what happened today stuff, but genuinely interesting stories (and I’m aware I sound slightly vomit-worthy).
I hear the music coming from one of the phones, the crackle of the fire, the colour of the wine and the gentle smell of pine as strongly as if it were happening now. It wasn’t just me either. One of my friends commented later on this exact same thing. (original post here)
So why am I telling you this?..
These are not all moments that just happen. Some were created and shaped with planning, foresight and a little luck. A favourite trick of mine is to work out roughly how long the walk will take and set off at a time that means you’ll hit one of the tops at sunset. It won’t happen every time, but when it does fall right, it’ll hit you like a freight train.
(TIP: A GPS is a help here, because it will show your ETA, you can see if you need to pick up the pace a bit, or stop and chill out for a while before carrying on. My Garmin also displays sunrise and set times for your geographical location as well).
So. Boldly go and stretch yourself. Being slightly out of your comfort zone makes normal memories slightly sweeter anyway. With a bit of luck, you’ll realise that you’ve just scored a goal, even while you’re still kicking the ball.