What does an epic challenge mean to you?
On Saturday, my amazing partner – aka the G-Force – achieved one of his ambitions of 2013, to climb, in winter, Point Five gully on Ben Nevis. This world famous climb is a grade V and, in my mind, the G-Force’s achievement with his climbing pal Young Scott is “epic”. I described the challenge as “epic” in a Facebook post about the G-Force but he later questioned me as to whether I’d “over-described” the climb. In his mind, “epic” would be a winter climb in the Alps.
Then, today, a friend texted me to tell me about his epic cycle adventure. Douglas, now renamed as Dapper Rapha (he knows why!), rode a hilly route from Balmore to Balmaha and back again. The total ride with a break in the middle was 40 miles. To some people this might not seem too epic, but to Dapper Rapha it was especially hilly, challenging and tiring.
Epic adventures are different for all
Both mentions of epic got me thinking about when we use the word. I argued with the G-Force that his climb would seem very epic to many people and only because he had climbed many other routes and become a good climber does Point Five Gully seem less than epic to him. He described it as a “good challenge” and “very rewarding”.
Dapper Rapha’s bike ride was certainly epic for him. He could recall all the highs and the big lows and is now aware that his flattish commute by bike to work hasn’t really prepared him for cycling on Scotland’s very many hilly roads!
What was epic about my weekend?
I started thinking about my own weekend. Did I do anything epic? I rode for about 3.5 hours with a great group of friends on Saturday. It was especially cold and fairly hilly and I did enjoy the stop for coffee and scones but the total ride wasn’t really epic. On Sunday, I ran off-road for about 7.5 miles. I had tired legs but there was nothing epic – or, should I say, remarkable – about my run or effort. On holiday Monday I mostly worked at my desk and spent some time being photographed for a new newspaper column about the outdoors. The new column is epic perhaps because freelance newspaper writing contacts are so rare in 2013!
To be honest, there was no one thing that was particularly epic about my weekend but when viewed as a total it does feel pretty epic to me. It was a weekend when my partner scaled his toughest ice climb (and came home safely). I enjoyed time outdoors with friends, time indoors with my family, time working at my desk, time being photographed and time eating Easter chocolate.
Tell me something epic about your weekend. Or how a few things added up to something epic.