After returning from the crinklier parts of Derbyshire at the weekend, to be told by Lord Elpus that we had not conquered Everest and had only managed a piffling 508m of ascent, it is time to reflect.
This "up hill and down dale" thing; what's it all about then?
For walkers intent on crossing Scotland burdened by rucksacks, then I suppose exercising the old leg muscles by training up and down hills is a jolly good idea. They also get a pretty good cardio-vascular work-out at the same time; so, no bad thing. So how does a Flatlander like myself prepare for the even wrinklier bits of our Empire, like Scotland?
Well - in truth, you can't. I know in theory I could go climbing up and down stairs or spend hour after hour on the torture machine (we have a Concept II rower) to improve stamina and muscle. But we don't want to do that, do we? NO! Certainly Not!
So, it's a quick bash around the circuit (increased to 6.1 miles this morning to take in Waitrose for forgotten chillies) to beef up the pulse rate and energise the soul. And that's the thing: Energise the soul.
With views like the above, you just have to stop dead in your tracks and wallow about - taking in your sense of place. This morning the larks were going berserk and the sunshine warm on my shoulders at eight in the morning.
The muscles and stuff will get fit by the end of the Challenge. The soul is being prepared right now.