4 Weeks

In 28 days I will be setting out on the final 2,900 kilometres of this long solo trek around Australia.

The last month of training and preparations always goes too fast and too slow. 

No matter how well this stage is planned out it feels like a never ending list of things to do and buy and organize and as time runs out it gets crowded. 

Even when there are still things to do all I want is to be back out there. I am even more impatient this time because I’m off the highway and spending most of my time immersed in Nature and all her physical sensations and intuitive messages.

If anyone is wondering why I am not already back in Gladstone to take advantage of the early dry season, I can’t look at the weather up there without wondering the same thing. I have 2 very good reasons. 

The chiropractor is still realigning my twisted pelvis. And doing a good job considering how bad it was. 

It has been a long road to recovery since it started hurting in May/June last year. Instead of continuing for another 2,500kms in increasing pain I should have stopped but my stubbornness blocks every warning my body sends, especially if it is yelling “Stop!”. In November, when my body stopped beyond the control of my mind, the doctor I saw in Northern Rivers couldn’t make a care plan for chronic pain or mental health because he was only there temporarily which left me in a mess for months. Little things were treated like plantar fasciitus and Achilles tendonitis by a physio and my wilderness escape into the mountains did psychological wonders. There was still the underlying issue with the longterm crippling back problem which was causing all the other issues. 

During the first appointment with the chiropractor I was in tears of relief, not just pain. To be told what it was and that it could be fixed meant more than could be put into words. For months I was scared I’d be a cripple living in a nursing facility in permanent pain and exhaustion for the rest of my life. I’m not joking, that was how bad it had become. In the last few months I have worked hard and trained hard to smash through this obstacle, mostly mentally. The physical training is steadily increasing as the chiropractor works his magic. Everything else recovers as my body untwists and grows stronger. I would not have been ready earlier than this.

Thankfully I am training in a very beautiful part of Australia where I can walk along beaches, over headlands and up a some spectacular hill trails. The beauty of Nature is all around. She heals my heart, calms my mind and distracts me from the sweat and burn of hills and soft sand. The pictures heading this post are just some of the winter wildflowers, fungi and bushland doing the distracting. I’m also training my mind to let my body slow down so I’m enjoying a bit of quiet birdwatching, rockpool gazing and fungi hunting.

The Happiness & Its Causes Conference is the main reason I delayed my return. Last year they gifted me 2 tickets so I am taking my sister-in-law, Sil, who is a Nia mindful movement instructor, art therapist and counsellor. AND my brother Steve is coming too! If you have ever been to one of these conferences you know the buzz it gives you for days and the positive wave of ideas, tools and techniques lasts months, years, the rest of your life. This year the conference is in Sydney on the 22/23 June and I fly to Gladstone on the 24th to start walking on the 25th.

When I start walking I’ll still be buzzing from Happiness & Its Causes.


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