Proper Preparation: Part One

by Colin Aina

You may have heard me preach the adage of "The 6 P's"- Proper Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance. This slogan became significant to me whilst I was at university and was used by my coach to make sure we took our training seriously and to never be complacent.

I still hold this adage true to different aspects of my life; Professionally, I believe people should train to be ready for anything life dishes out. If you have an event to train for, you should do everything possible to make sure you succeed in your goal. You should even prepare your body for a training session(!). Preparing your food a day ahead of time and making sure you have snacks with you ensures you won't opt for the fast food option on the ride home because you have nothing else to eat.

In my free time, I try to spend as much time away from technology as I can. Over the past few years I've regained the love for the outdoors that I had when I was younger. Once my sport became a top priority for me in high school, I wasn't able to "get out" anymore and that only intensified during and after college for a few more years. I've now found that time and make an effort to be outside as much as possible, regardless of the season.

Fast forward to about 3 years ago...
I started backpacking in the White Mountains which led to ice climbing, which led to rock climbing, which led to mountaineering, and now mountain biking. All of these activities require a fair amount of "The 6 P's." I've spent a fair deal of time, gas money, food money, calories, researching online and countless hours of chatting with more knowledgeable people than I. Making sure I've got everything in my pack to spend 2 nights in the mountains (and being under 25lbs) to survive creates a great sense of self confidence. Knowing how to tie a proper knot on my harness as I start an ice climb literally ensures me living or dying. In any of these pursuits, knowing that I have the skills to be safe and to offer my assistance to others in a jam enables a more enjoyable experience.

I think about accidents happening in the wilderness, but never truly think that I would be involved in one. I read many incident reports about injuries or deaths that happen in the outdoors, and I'm always reading books about people overcoming obstacles to survive.

I think about how I would react in an emergency situation and if I would be able to handle it appropriately...well, I was made aware of that on the 28th of July...

Stay tuned for Part Two.