I just did one of the hardest things I’ve ever done in my life. I walked the 8km return trip, up and down Mt Lofty.
To say I did it with grace and quiet determination would be a lie. To say that at one point my husband walked behind me and pushed me up the hill as I staggered, would be much more like it. When I thought I’d gone as far as my legs could take me I saw the sign informing me I still had 800 metres of upward climbing to go until I reached the top. I sat on a log and declared that I was done. Fuck this shit, I want to stop, turn around and go home now, I mumbled. I was broken. I had already talked myself out of going any further about twenty times prior to this moment. My legs were so heavy. I was faint. My husband wouldn’t let me give in. At that point I didn’t give a shit about letting myself down, I just wanted it to be over, but I sure as hell wasn’t going to disappoint him. Twiggy told me later that he knew he just had to get me to the 500 meters to go mark and that I wouldn’t turn back. He was right.
I put my head down and concentrated on the path at my feet. I trudged like I was walking in deep sand. I heave cried. At times I stopped to lean on trees, convinced I was going to pass out. I actually thought I was going to die. But I didn’t stop.
I’d never walked Mt Lofty before. I’m not sure if I’ve got it in me to do it again, but that moment you round the bend and see the top beckoning you, is a thrill.
This is when I got to the top.
You can’t see it in my face, but all I was thinking was how the hell am I going to get back down the hill again? I’d pushed myself to my limit and then had to walk the 4kms back down again. Aside from a severe case of wobbly legs, it was a way better journey. And when I got the car, took my shoes off, aired my huge blisters and rested my weary body, I felt a great sense of achievement.
Today, I am struggling to walk at all and sitting down is a chore. I’m walking like the Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz. However, I feel a sense of smugness, like I conquered myself. My body didn’t let me down, but my brain could’ve been my outdoing. Twiggy pulled me through. He is one amazing man. He believes in me, when I don’t believe in myself.
One day I might attempt to walk it again. I want to beat its arse without tears next time. The climb was so hard.
And until then I will always carry the moment a toddler wearing a nappy sauntered past me as I struggled up the hill. That moment kept me going to the end. I refused to be beaten by a baby. I refused to be a baby.