When you have planned every last detail and are so excited to have your plans go through, the last thing you want to be faced with is having to make an alternative plan at last minute. This is exactly what just happened to us this weekend. The most important things I have learned since I started guiding are that you absolutely cannot control the weather and you can’t be sorry about the weather either. As simple and obvious as that sounds, as a guide, there is a lot of pressure you put on yourself to have everything turn out perfect. You want those clear blue skies with perfect fluffy clouds that make photos look just awesome. You want the temperature to be warm, but not too hot, and just the right amount of breeze but not too windy. Bu the fact is… we can’t do a darn thing about the weather, or many things for that matter that can change our plans in an instant. Here is how we made the most of our plan B and how you can do too.
As the forest fires rage in the province of BC, there is an overwhelming amount of smoke in the air. While we thankfully don’t have fires in our area, we have been covered with a blanket of smoke since Tuesday… of course, 3 days before our August retreat started. We played it by ear, updated the group and paid attention to air quality. On Thursday, the day before the retreat started, we had to make some executive decisions and make some changes. Our first activity was hiking up on the Sea to Sky Gondola but unfortunately they weren’t recommending people to hike and there was no visibility. So we knew we had to change that activity and fast. After spending hours on the computer, phoning each other and companies, we finally had a rock solid plan that we hoped would be just as awesome as the original. We knew that the conditions were completely out of our control but what wasn’t out of our control was our ability to make this weekend still so awesome. I think with our positivity, our hard work and going that extra mile… we pulled it off.
And guess what!? Our plan B was AWESOME!! Between the longest and most fun mountain bike ride we’ve been able to lead, to our first time taking clients white water rafting, to having an awesome evening at a lake SUPing and snacking, to doing an entirely new hike… everything worked out just as it was meant to it seemed. We had an amazing adventure, met 14 awesome ladies and watched them try things for the first time. It just reassured us that things don’t always have to go as planned to have an amazing adventure. Sometimes thinking on the fly and trying something new becomes a better adventure than you imagined, the key is to just stay positive.
So, how can you make your plan B awesome when the weather doesn’t go as planned, or a friend cancels, or something makes you have to change things? Every situation is completely different and I recognize that, but I think there are some key things you can do so that any alternative plans you need to make, can still turn out as awesome.
- Stay positive – this is first and foremost to making the most out of a situation out of your control. If you start getting negative and feeling upset that things aren’t going as planned, it isn’t going to result in a good outcome. Often times, even though it might not seem so in the moment, things end up happening the way they were meant to. Just go with the flow and make the changes you need to.
- Let go of the old plan – So you were supposed to do something you had been dreaming of and planning for a long time and now something has happened that is going to make that impossible. Just let go of that old plan… it isn’t going to happen. The sooner you let go, the sooner you can start planning an alternative idea.
- Be open to try something new – We had actually never taken a group rafting here in Squamish before…but with the smoke levels, we knew that hiking could potentially be dangerous. We thought of other activities we could do at lower elevation and the idea of rafting came up. Although it was a complete surprise for our retreaters, we decided to take the chance on a brand new activity… and it ended up being awesome!
- Just go with the flow – leave some things up in the air if you can and see if something changes. We left our big hike for the last day of the retreat to see if the smoke would clear a little. Be open to doing something last minute (that doesn’t require a booking or reservation of course) so that you can see how things pan out. Sometimes being spontaneous and just allowing nature to steer the course of your plan is the best way to go. Things will probably work out just as awesome as you had originally planned!