I’d like to preface this by stating that never in my life have I ever walked 26km in one go. Furthermore, never in my life have I ever walked 26km in one go while carrying 12kg on my back.
Nonetheless, over the course of 12 hours tomorrow, this distance will be accomplished. The next day? 18km.
At this point in my last-day-prep the thoughts going through my mind are as follows:
“Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat the absolute fuck are you doing?!”
“How on earth do you think you can accomplish that??”
“You’re going to get looo-ost!”
(That last one in a sing-song voice repeatedly)
The terrain is hilly, slowly evolving into mountainous. Populated by sheep and sheep alone, I’ll most likely not run into any fellow hikers on the trail this time of year. I will be well and truly all by myself (cue Bridget Jones style breakout). And to add to my worries – as I sit here writing this my period has begun. Cue the altogether unnecessary hormonal-waterworks.
I’m trying not to panic, I truly am. My fingers are tapping away, the pad of each finger on my left hand tapping the pad of my thumb to an anxious rhythm. Deep breaths. I can do this. I sincerely believe that I can. If I can’t walk the entire 26km in one day? I’ll walk until I drop then pitch my tent atop my comatose dirty-hiker-body. If I get lost, I’ll whip out my maps and compass and either find my bearings or head down to the nearest road and follow it into town. I have enough food and water for 5 days – worst case scenario I follow a herd of sheep back to their (young, attractive, ginger-haired Irish…hey, a girl can dream!) owner and ask for help. There are an infinite amount of solutions to every possible scenario that has passed through my ever-anxious mind. There is, logically, nothing to be frightened of.
They say it takes 3 days to get into the “thru-hike-mindset” so a word of caution to you all: the next 3 days will most likely not be full of happy, motivating, posts. There will be angst, pain and what’s sure to be a decent amount of wallowing. There may even be some hands thrown up towards the heavens with an accompanying “WHYYYYYY GOD WHYYY??” I implore you – be patient with me! Happy Maysen will return and she will likely be full of inspirational reflections. For the next 3 days, if you feel like contributing to my cause PLEASE feel free to do so via words of motivation. As I’ll be out there on my own, the internet (and fingers crossed, the friendly locals) will be my main source of encouragement.
While I hike, I pledge to post brief daily updates. Every Wednesday will be a rest day and so once a week you can expect long, rambling posts that properly reflect on the past week.
So here we go darlings. Early tomorrow morning I set off. Now accepting final words of motivation.
And as always, I encourage you to share my campaign! The larger an audience I can reach, the more good we can do for MHI, and also for ourselves. To have a community, if only an online one, is invaluable and I truly would love to hear your feedback and thoughts!