APEX – Making Opportunities and sometimes taking calculated Risks
I know that it’s a clichéd line now and now’t new, but isn’t it funny how part of our national culture is cynicism -genuinely – seeking to take an unhealthypleasure in knocking stuff that is trying to make a positive difference or that has taken an opportunity to help reform, grow ideas and energetically see them into fruition.
“Opportunity” has become a word associated with particular mental health classifications and labels and Disorders – to call someone opportunistic is almost to be negatively critical of them?
“Risk-taking,” now has similar “Disordered” connotations at a time where folk and their support services hamper any attempts at lasting Recovery by Designing services around mitigating risks - both the necessary great – and unfortunately – the health bringing small hazards and risks that we need to take to stay lively, awake and interested in life!
We have evolved systems that encourage – a compliant low mood, and a malaise – many folk becoming chronically listless, disinterested and in a few short months or a year or two lacking hope.
It is easy to understand the need for formal Assessment of significant risk by services – But – we then apply a similar philosophy to assessing the sorts of risks and chances that folk need to take in order to become more independent and less needy upon services and more able to healthily support others around them! Risk assessing minor risks create a Recovery Infertility in service design.
It is almost as if the need to label and assess folk and make them inactive and needy has been of greater interest in building a “sickness” industry than to see folk take fuller, active, enterprising and inclusive community roles with all the -Real-Life – hazards and risks therein!
It has not really been to the vested interests advantage for folk to get well sometimes and it is really only now in the face of, two elephants in our front rooms, that Recovery will now have opportunity to really take a hold:
1. Response to global international shifts in resource and the need to respond to more aspirational, opportunistic and competitive world-wide economic models.
2. Resulting, scarcer resources nationally to pay old vested interests models that kept folk in sickness services for years keeping them unwell and stigmatised.
The UK, in general, seems to have become a “talking-shop” for folk who would rather talk themselves into knots of deconstructing verbiage rather than into positive movement for change and sometimes old vested interests foment a criticism of change to preserve their stake by worrying folk into resisting needed reform and thus preserving illness models based upon dependence?
We have to start valuing engineers and “builders” of change and enterprise rather than advocates of preserving out of date practice and grow out of a culture that teaches abrogation of responsibility for self and the accompanying illnesses and public health issues that this way of thinking has encouraged!
Last weekend’s APEx (Local) Walk and Sundays Trundle..
Last Saturday morning – the weather was so poor that it would have been easy to turnover in bed at 6am rather than travel to west Kirby in dreich mist, rain and wind. Had we chosen to stay abed and refuse the first half hours offerings of heavy rain -then we would have missed the opportunity of walking in a day that soon reformed into warmth and bright sunshine as we followed the beach from west Kirby to Thurstaton and then up to Roydon Park and then over Caldy hill. There were only 12 of us but it was very pleasant in the spring sunshine. We saw several species of birds – Buzzards, a solitary Yellow Hammer, several species of Waders… We didn’t hear Chiff-chaff, unfortunately.
The walk was great, as usual, the company and atmosphere was fresh and chatty and warm as the march sunshine..
It’s much more affirming and fulfilling to take the opportunity and actively do something healthy – rather than to cleverly find reasons why not to “have a go!”
..along the beach at Talacre to the start of the Offa’s Dyke path and then up into the limestone hills to a top perched above the North Wales coastal plain was quite a demanding 12.8 miler in cold, overcast and damp conditions – but the 360 degree views, from on top of “St Elmo’s Summerhouse,” in the clean northerly airflow were stark, clear and beautiful – we saw the Isle of Man, Cumbria, Pendle Hill, Hiraethog, The Carneddau , Anglesey, Great Orme and the curvature of the earth (curving the Irish sea horizon) and the best possible views back across to the Hilbre, Wirral, Liverpool and Winter hill beyond..
But again – the temptation to stay in the warm car rather than get out and run into a strongish cold north-westerly was not given much of an opportunity – We knew, with the experience of many winter runs, that within 10 minutes of getting started that a mini-micro climate of warmth, stoked by physical exertion and the great views and chatting, means that any chilliness fades within a mile!
We have agreed to continue to seek out places that we wouldn’t normally go to – At Talacre, and surrounding area, we were surprised by the beauty of an environment more noted for its caravan parks and Kitsch than its beautiful sanded strand and surrounding limestone hills with such panoramic views. We will plan an APEx walk along some of this route for some time in the Autumn.
Back to walking – before our next “Off-Wirral” walk – if anyone is interested in a 3, or so, hour walk out to Hilbre – let me know? (before the end of March?).
Apex – Advocating Physical Exercise Group can be reached on 0151 650 1530
or email email@example.com