In one week I will be walking the first day of the final section of The Happy Walk and I am more nervous than ever before.
This leg and the distances planned for each day are almost half that of the last 3 years. Returning to backpacking is a shift back to my comfort zone. Leaving the highway for the bush and beach will be beautiful and refreshing. So what am I nervous about?
I can’t put my finger on it. It might be my current poor fitness level but I know from experience this doesn’t last long once I get going. It might be a fear of pain and exhaustion resulting from living in chronic pain for nearly a year but I know it is an irrational fear because I naturally have a very high pain tolerance and an ultra athlete’s ability to block it.
Could it be something as silly as switching airlines loyalty to Qantas because they offer vegan meal options after flying Virgin domestic for 18 years who won’t cater for vegans?
It could be the imminent end of a project which started as a dream 7 years ago and has demanded everything I owned, everything I was to be sacrificed, sold, released, all my strength and commitment poured into the cause and giving back. This walk has been my life, my identity, my single goal since 2010. Maybe I’m afraid I will not be able to turn the lessons, experiences, insight and fervour into something useful and empowering.
I want this to be the beginning of something which can empower Women, inspire Adventure, teach respect for Earth, protect Wilderness and explore humans as part of Nature. All I have given up, worked for and received, the joys, exhilaration, failures, begging, tears and achievements during The Happy Walk are the foundation for something much bigger. Yes, I’m nervous about this. What comes next will push me further than I have ever been before.
It is exciting and I will spend many hours of each day dreaming but until I reach Canberra I’m still walking around Australia. After about almost 3 decades of solo multi day/week/month bushwalking I’m getting pretty experienced at it so now it is time to put aside concern for the future and have full confidence in my bushcraft, strong mind and capable body.
I can do this!