I could never…
Have you ever looked out in the world at something, an activity, and thought, “that looks kinda cool, but I could NEVER do that!”. You satisfied yourself by watching from the sidelines, or doing something that is a little step on the way to the big thing you previously saw, but no where near the whole way.
I used to think that about lots of forms of physical activity. After I got sick as a teen and lost confidence in my body, I stopped enjoying the things I used to love, like hiking and school sports. My other half has always been a keen hiker, and I’ve watched on as he’s enjoying exploring the insanely beautiful national parks and world heritage areas in my home state over the last 8.5 years. I always thought I’d never be able to hike like he could – be able to just pack some things in a bag and go off on an adventure.
Three weeks ago, I finally completed my first overnight hike.
Its only a 10 word sentence, but thats a huge one for me. I’ve ticked something off my bucket list – I’m incredibly proud of myself, needless to say.
Physically speaking, there were two things I needed before being able to do to do something as physically intense as an overnight hike. Carrying around 16kg over 30km of walking in 2 days is tough work! The past 5 and them some years of consistently and mindfully managing my health and wellness in a general sense has paid off. My body is strong and healthy from years of eating mostly vegetables and a regular exercise routine that it can cope with something more intense every now and then. And secondly, the change in treatment plan I had a bit over 2 years ago. The previous medication I relied exclusively on to manage bleeding episodes that aren’t my period has to be kept refrigerated, or at least cold constantly, not making it ideal for taking with me hiking or camping. Given factor can be taken out of the fridge safely, its made me more confident in being able to manage a bleed while out in the wilds, should anything happen.
Three weeks ago, I took an “I could never..” and turned it in to a “I can and I love it”. I’m still on a bit of a post-hike high, making sense out of my achievement. What I do know is that I’m amazed at what the human body and spirit can do with the right support. I’m well and truly convinced that being out in nature is good for the body and mind in a very primal and satisfying way, and will definitely be doing more of it. I’m excited to see what I do next. If I can go from barely feeling comfortable on a short, well defined walk to what I can now do, there’s a universe of possibility out there for me to get stuck into. Which is not to say I won’t encounter struggles – I anticipate them coming at me, even ask for more struggles (we have an opportunity to learn important things about ourselves and life in the depths of struggle, after all). This weekend of goal kicking has given me the reminder and confidence that I can achieve amazing things despite illness. An reminder I am grateful to have in my mind for the rest of my life.
And now, just because I have to show off a little, some photos from my adventure. Enjoy!