“Do you fancy doing this walk with us?” came the innocent question from my lovely chum Rhian “It’s for Help for Heroes and the finish line is at Stonehenge”
Doesn’t that sound nice? Rhian was going to complete the challenge with her delicious pal Matthew and they very kindly asked if I’d like to join them. I didn’t really ask much about the 26.2 miles that came before Stonehenge and signed up.
Our team of three was awesome – we laughed, sang, did pop quizzes, got blisters, cried (me)….but it was quite clear that I wouldn’t enjoy the experience at the others’ faster pace and so I dropped a bit behind and did most of it in my own little world. This allowed me the space and time to focus on every step at my own pace, feeling each moment.
I can tell you I experienced every single emotion in that one day!
Thrilled (as I trundled above the Wiltshire white chalk horses, singing along to my ipod)
Exhaustion (as hill after hill after hill stretched before me…Salisbury Plain sounds flat doesn’t it? Nope, in one part I had to physically climb and use my hands to pull myself up)
Determination (so many people had doubted I would actually complete it…and told me so – don’t ever tell me I can’t do something!)
Anger (the lovely well-intentioned military man at mile 20 who told me there would be no more hills ahead of me…lying ratbag. If I hadn’t been so shattered I would have gone back to tell him off for being untruthful at my most vulnerable time)
Fear (cows and horses terrify me…I had to jog to keep up with a man who had hiking poles in one particular animal-filled field)
Love (as support messages from the people I love reached my phone and my heart at exactly the right moment when I needed it most)
Elation (as I finally crossed the finish line at Stonehenge at sunset….YES! The finish makes me cry when I recall it….such a beautiful moment in my life)
As someone who isn’t considered a ‘fit’ person I needed to prove to myself that I can do anything I set my mind to. And I can do it alone. I AM STRONG.
I spent last weekend cheering on my beautiful friends Patrick and George who ran the London Marathon (there is no comparison between their achievements and mine…their efforts and dedication were PHENOMENAL) but it was an incredible reminder of the strength of the human spirit. Every single person who crossed that line was a superhero (my beautiful friend George was so poorly, but is so strong and amazing…she did it anyway! I am in awe of her wonderfulness)
Our minds are the strongest muscles we have. I AM fit because my mind and body are strong.
Check out the finish line photo…..My enormous hair!!! I didn’t even care at that point….so unlike me! Just after this was taken I was greeted by an incredibly handsome man who handed me a cup of tea and a chocolate muffin. It was like a mirage in a cartoon. From recollection I proposed to him there and then. “I love you sh*tloads” were my exact words.
Sometimes I forget it happened, then I remember oh yeah I did that….
These boots are made for walking.