I must admit to some negativity about the upcoming Walking Group Leader Assessment this weekend. Having read the syllabus thoroughly, I'm nervous about my knowledge on certain aspects.
I have no problem with the technical competance; I can navigate with a certain amount of proficiency, and I believe I can lead a group successfully across the worst Dartmoor can offer. The rest, though, I find daunting. What I find hardest is to retain information about subjects associated with the WGL award and the whole process has left me thinking I am not entirely sure I am as interested in those subjects as I first thought!
There, I've said it! I have been working towards this moment for the past couple of years, I really want the opportunity to lead groups out into remote areas and share the experience and enjoyment I get from it, but am I really interested in the environmental issues? Am I honestly interested in weather systems? I get the safety aspect is important; I get that we should try to minimise our impact on the uplands; I get that we should be more than fifty metres from a river before taking a shit. But the rest? Are people interested in how a National Park Authority operates or what Natural England actually do? I'm not sure and it is worrying me that I find it difficult to hold information of similar ilk.
But here's another thought, and one that is probably closer to the truth; Maybe I do have an interest about all of the above, and it's simply the assessment that is the real demon behind all this. It's the fear of being assessed, being put centre stage, being judged and not knowing what to expect. To be out of my comfort zone, that is the problem. Previously I have simply wanted similar experiences to be over, feeling no sense of enjoyment or achievement when it has finished, with no adrenalin rush at what I have just overcome... just relief. All I do know at the moment is that come Sunday, pass, fail or deferred, I will just be thankful to be climbing into my car and heading off home.... I do hope I'm wrong!
I guess we'll just have to see....