Monday, October 26, 2015

Walking on ...

Yesterday as I was building my chook enclosure (that's a story for another day) I had time to think and ponder about what would help me move forward as I get used to life without dad.  I decided I'd like to do a spot of blogging, so here I am :)

It's nearly 3 weeks now since I did the Oxfam Trailwalker - departing Darlington at 7 am on the Friday morning, with the knowledge that it was forecast to warm up to 33 degrees.  Yikes!  Those of you who have followed me for a while know that summer is not my bag - that I melt even at the thought of the thermometer heading over 27 degrees, so I knew this would be a challenge before I started.

My mascot stone :)
I trudged slowly along hot, radiating gravel paths, had my hat filled with water by team mates whenever we came to a stream, drank tea at rest stops, had physio, chatted to team 69 every time we met, celebrated the night falling, thrilled at lightening in the distance and stood to have my calf massaged on the trail before I fell into Darlington 21 hours later and felt so ill that I finished my walk there.  Too much time in the sun had taken its toll and I knew there were several hours to go before reaching Lesmurdie and another roasting hot day.  So I called my hubby at 4 am to pick me up and waved my fellow 'hill bunnies' goodbye.

Far from being despondent I was very impressed with myself - I had walked 73 km, much of it in the heat and I had survived through sheer bloody-mindedness and the support of my fantastic team.  I was so pumped I vowed to do it again next year and finish it.  I'm still wanting to do it again after recovering (sore, crampy legs, 2 big blisters, not bad really) but I think I might train for it next time ...

It was a profound experience for me as I had to be really present to survive - I've been having trouble with that lately.  Here's what I wrote in my diary just after the walk:

"I was walking with 3 other amazing women, who made me feel part of the group and that I mattered as they helped me keep my cool and keep my spirits up.  I had to hunker down inside myself and find that inner strength to carry on.  No room for ruminations about the trivia of life - this was about survival.  I was fully present."

And dad was there with me every step of the way - I had my little foxy stone in my pocket.  It was the last present I ever gave to dad, it was for his birthday last year - it's a little reminder of him, and I had a feeling he was saying to me as I walked, "You're fantastic too."

1 comment:

Chris said...

Yes you are.