During the day, most of the time my mind is in the present, whether singing, admiring a view or any of the numerous things that happen in the course of a day. At first I found my brain wandering and often contemplative. This doesn’t seem to happen in the same way anymore. There are thoughts and contemplations but they don’t linger. As soon as they manifest themselves, they move on.
Today is going to be much of the same. I’ll move, the miles will pass and I will end the evening with a meal. Perhaps I should walk with my journal, another thing that has been neglected, handy for those moments when I do have an interesting thought.
I think the point I’m trying to make is there isn’t much to this whole adventure way of living. You wake, plan your day, pack away your equipment and begin to move on. Anyone with the inclination can do it. All that is important is that you realise that once you start, stopping is not an option. The hard times, the problems and the challenges are the things that accelerate our learning and avoiding them is the first step in narrowing your mind.
Somewhere around Horton (Yorkshire), I picked up a stomach bug which meant eating was a near pointless act. What went in seemed to exit undigested and in record time. I did eat in the hope that it would provide some of the nutrition a body needs, but that general feeling of being refuelled just wasn’t there and I had next to no appetite.
Yesterday however, the appetite returned. I knew what I wanted to eat, I knew how much to eat again and I felt better for it. Today is refuel day. I’m cutting the mileage severely down just for today, sitting and eating to replenish some of those depleted reserves and then heading for the finish.
Does that mean a new schedule and finish date?
Yes and no. I’ll be covering around 37-38 miles a day instead of the 33 a day. I’ll still follow the same general route and I’m finishing on the same day at the same time.
What time? You’ll just have to keep on your toes so you don’t miss it 😉
I have no idea how or why my legs keep moving. 4 days since leaving Jedburgh and I’m 180 miles closer to the end point.
Tomorrow will be a big test. 31 miles in total, crossing the Cairngorms and reaching a height of 2992ft before descending and heading to Aviemore (although not reaching it and having to wait till the day after before reaching a resupply location).
Now all that is needed is some good weather and avoiding situation that will end with an MRT call out and the headline “Tourist nearly dies on Cairngorms with hanously inappropriate footwear”.
I’ve read the following, although I’m addlibing from memory a little…
“You can’t say you enjoy the rain if you sit beneath a shelter. You are not enjoying the rain but the romantic notion of the rain.”
Tomorrow it will rain and I am not concerend. I will move forwards and appreciate the beauty of the mist created as rain falls. I’ll walk and run along, making my way towards that finish and enjoy every minute of it.
Cold, wet or pain are now irrelevant as without these little things, how can we actually appreciate what is special?
There isn’t much more to say. I’m making a run for the end.
All that needs to be said has either been said or is written down. From this point onwards progress will be judged by actions and not an attempt at placing concepts and difficult to define qualities into words.
The real world is creeping back into view like a dark cloud, threatening to over turn any advances made through this journey. I will move each day for as long as I can and remain still for as little as I can.
I’m no expert, and the words below are likely the result of dehydration, malnutrition and a distinct lack of sleep.
I rambled about this in an earlier post but yesterday, feeling oddly ill and making my way (at a slower than slow pace) to Bellingham I seemed to have had a moment.
The nature of endurance and the drive to move forwards is somehqta schizophrenic. I’m not making light of the condition in anyway however.
When those difficult moments hit, there is a part of a persons mind that says “Stop! You don’t have to go any further”
This is true of my situation as I have everything needed to stop at any moment and be comfortable for a day or so. But here’s the paradoxical bit. I don’t seem to stop. There’s another part that seems to reply “I know. Still gonna keep going till I reach….”
The two different personalities jostle for dominance and really, it seems that at the core of it, endurance is an unwillingness to listen to the part of the mind that says “stop”.
Today, many people will endure lots of hardships and they will do it because it is in our nature as humans, but only if we allow it and encourage its flurishing in the young people we interact with.
Im experiencing all levels of generosity on this trip. Today, I think I’ve seen generosity take on a whole new level!
Between Greenhead and Bellingham is a small, inconspicuous little farm. Leading to it, there are small hand written signs.
“Tea, showers, fridge etc at the top of the hill”
Then you arrive at the farm and see a sign instructing you to head for the shed on the left. If you do, you will be blown away and even if you aren’t tired or in a rush you will end up sitting down and looking around, smilling. This smile will be despite the fact that you have likely traipsed across miles of unrelenting bog to get there and you still have over 5 miles to go.