Thursday, March 22, 2012

‘Help I’ve fallen and I can’t get up….’

By Guest Blogger Renae

You may have noticed that I missed last week. I was super duper busy. There was the training walk for the ‘Oxfam 100km in less than 48 hours’ with my team – Getting along FamOx-ly - through the Dandenong ranges, the work conference in Melbourne and then the String festival at Brookfield Margate for fund rasing – phew what a week and a bit.

Prior to the training walk I was feeling a little wary about exactly what I would be heading into. I was imagining the darkest depths of the southwest track in Tas. I have since discovered that the Dandenongs are fairly well populated with houses and other walkers….friendly walkers at that. We bumped into many other teams out on the trail all training for the Oxfam 100km walk, some had done it before, some newbies like us. Wow – I imagine the atmosphere on the weekend will be amazing, the spirit of the people will get us most of the way through.

The training walk: We had rain, rain and some more rain. As predicted I was the first, and only person to fall over, and enjoyed the experience so much I had another go at it later on. Thankfully, no injuries. The first fall was crossing a road, a very flat, no obstacle road. This proved to be an excellent team building experience as ‘Miss Otherwise engaged’ stopped oncoming traffic, ‘Miss Pink’ didn’t laugh at me and even helped me up and ‘Miss Martini (with an olive)’ realised that pulling me backwards just wasn’t gonna work, and pushed instead. – Phew close call. I myself, felt like a scientific experiment gone wrong - turtle / praying mantis creature. This is because I was wearing a backpack – that wasn’t that heavy, but made heavier from being wet. I also had walking poles strapped to my wrists. I had never used walking poles before; this was my maiden voyage with the poles. The balance was all wrong and my arms wouldn’t work because the stupid poles (that had stopped me falling down many a steep and slippery hill) were now just useless appendages that I couldn’t control and were stopping me from getting a purchase on the road with my hands. We all lived to laugh at me later, and moved onto the swampy trail where we provided Victorian leeches with some Tassie blood to help them grow larger for the real event on April 20th.

The 100km trail walk. For training we did the humpy bits in the middle.

What I learnt about myself:

I love hills, no I am not a sadist – it really comes from a place of laziness. Let me explain. You can make your body work a lot harder for the same amount of distance and time than if you were walking on a flat road.

We had been hearing from Miss Martini all about the dreaded Hackett’s Track – the steep hill to kill all hills!! I didn’t admit it to the group, but I was looking forward to Hackett’s track – why? Well I really wanted to put all this training I have been doing to the test, I wanted to push myself to my limit. I wanted to know that all these squats, lunges and hauling around bricks in a bag had really achieved something besides now buying smaller clothes (great side effect). And do you know what – it really really has worked – I kicked Hackett’s track’s butt!

I never used to like hills, and would have avoided them at any cost. But something that Mr H said to me whilst setting up a challenge for me helped. He was asking me to seek out a hill to run up a few times (yeah run….) and said… “show that hill no mercy”. Click in the brain – this is where I had been going wrong all this time, I had been being way to polite to hills.

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