Today there were 2 major ascents, with this absolute gem breaking them up.
Today was tough on many levels. Physically it was ridiculously demanding and I’m quite in awe of myself if I’m being completely honest! Scrambling up rocky trails, rerouting to avoid sinking into bogs (which happened twice) and my pack, well my pack felt like I was carrying an elephant on my back.
I trudged along, singing loudly and obnoxiously to the RENT soundtrack and when I reached this lake…well I had a little cry. I was cold and wet and my uterus was mad and I contemplated pitching my tent and just staying there forever. I heaved my pack off, took off my shoes and wandered into the stream that was trickling downhill. I closed my eyes, let the tears run free and took a deep breath.
“I can do this”.
I hung out for an hour, reading (The Break, Marian Keyes) and let the words soothe my soul. By the time I laced my soggy boots back up I was determined – I was going to finish the day with a smile. I found some company (in the form of a hiking group) and trudged along, keeping up with their pace and enjoying the mindless chit-chat. By the time we hiked into Glengarriff I was done, physically and emotionally. I met the rest of their group, enjoyed a pint with them all and called it a night. I found a wonderful, CHEAP hostel and am now in my pj’s, boots drying in front of the fire, preparing myself for tomorrow.
Tomorrow will be tough, I can feel it. But in a few days I have a 2 night stay with a lovely Irish stranger in Millstreet and I’m just pushing through till then! I can do this. I’m stronger than the voices and capable of anything.
Between the time I wrote this and published it, something incredible happened. I was sitting by the fire chatting with the owners of the hostel (Mike and Siobhan)and we got into what exactly I’m doing here. I shared my story and they shared theirs in return. I’m continuously blown away by the openness of strangers. We had a great talk about the stigmas surrounding mental health – how so many people are ashamed of the state of their mental health and how that’s something that desperately needs to change. An hour later, I’m sitting by the fire (drying my eternally wet socks) and the 2 of them came back in and handed me back my money.
“You’re doing this for charity and we are so proud of you” (Siobhan)
Cue all the damn waterworks. I sat here in shock for a few before embracing them in the warmest hugs. They were so sincerely adamant of proud they are of me, and how sure they are that I will indeed finish this hike.
Strangers. The greatest motivation a girl could ever find.
Your kind words of support and motivation mean the absolute world to me, and I hope I can do you proud!
Tomorrow – KEALLKILL!
And guys – stay at the Blue Pool Hostel in Glengarriff – it is truly magnificent.