I always wanted to have a "sweet ass".
Apparently I'm really nice tasting to horseflies. I'm also really allergic to the little buggers.
Now, just so you don't think I'm over-exaggerating, and because I want some sympathy *sobs pathetically* I'm going to show you what my knee looks like (don't worry, no arse shots).
My nemesis. The horsefly.
I learnt an important lesson on yesterdays walk...TAKE INSECT REPELLANT!!
Anyway, enough fishing for sympathy....for now ;)
The day started with a picture of some of my favourite food....flapjacks :D Love these things - Kenny makes great flapjacks. It's part of the Support Team specification ;P
He later tried to recall that particular comment by explaining that apparently he'd only half-filled the bottle (yeah yeah).
Yesterday we completed our longest training walk. 37km in total and today, no one is particularly achey. It was amazing to watch my sister, my friend and my husband as they soldiered on through a massive walk (22miles). Our first training walk was just 8k, and everybody was feeling a bit hard done by. Amber's hips hurt. I lost all feeling in my hands and arms (courtesy of the cold) and Tasha was limping.
As we've progressed the progress has been exponential. Everyone in the team has done SUCH an amazing job with their fitness, but I feel I should particularly give credit to my little sister.
You guys didn't see what I saw. When we went for our first 20km, Tasha struggled. When we moved up to 30km she almost broke. The transformation at the point of 21km was amazing - verging on a panic attack and desperate to not let anyone down, Tash pushed through a psychological barrier that has been holding her back for years. It was pure will that kept that girl moving and on her feet. I can barely even begin to describe the gargantuan effort she made to not stop. To just keep going.
But she did.
Tash wasn't fit. I don't think she'll mind me saying that to give some comparison. But she has made such an amazing effort with her training and her pure determination to make it happen that she IS fit now. 12 weeks can change people and this girl has gone from being someone who doesn't believe she can do anything, to knowing just how strong she is.
What an inspiration.
My husband has to have the next mention (Amber - you're amazing but you started off with me here :p). Going from someone who hated walking - I'm talking "let's take the car to the shop" (which is a 5 minute walk away) to someone who can easily cover nearly 40km. He hasn't exercised properly in years, taking his slim physique a bit for granted but watching him power through this. At 15km his knees started to become very painful (runners knee for those of you who have experienced it) - they looked so sore as he traversed the steep downhills along the South Downs Way but he continued. At 30km the knees had stopped aching (but the heart rate was rising!) and Simon found he CAN do this. He CAN put his mind to something and achieve it. What a powerful feeling.
Amber has battled with ligaments in her hips to become fitter, faster, stronger. She's like a duracell bunny - the gal just keeps moving!
I am SO proud of ALL of my team-mates. Love you guys :D
Pushing through the pain, pushing through those barriers that stop you from being the best you can be - the belief that you can't, the worry if you can, the years of self-doubt. We all have them and my team mates are showing that it doesn't matter who you are, how fit or unfit you are, you can do anything you put your mind to. I'm humbled by the people I'm surrounded by.
My family show that all it takes is a little effort and some self-belief. For those of you who are out there, wishing to make a change, wanting to keep going, wanting to improve. Wherever you are in your journey remember this: the only thing that is stopping you is you.
We all make choices. We all doubt ourselves. We all are tempted to try and blame something else for being unfit, over-weight, under-performing - whatever it is. Remember you have an amazing capacity to stun yourself. Never give up.
Anyway, the walk was smooth. We had several stops along the way, and as you can see from the gallery below the scenery along the South Downs is just breathtaking.
The hiking boots with the Gore-Tex cover came in very handy when I was running low on energy towards the end. You see, dancing around puddles requires more energy.....marching through the middle, like a force of nature, does not xD There was one thing that stopped the unstoppable water-proof boots though....
I would have filmed said encounter, but there had been some mutiny regarding the camera already. Apparently I can "stuff it". Hmmppph. Luckily for everyone (or maybe for me), my phone died shortly after horse-fly lake. Before that though, I managed to get some gorgeous shots....
Speaking of....does anyone know how much blood is in those things!!? One landed on Tash, which Amber managed to take a good hit at and the thing literally popped. There was blood everywhere (most of which I assume was mine). It was like some sort of gory vampire movie. There was blood all over Tasha's leg and it even spurted on to her other leg.....gross.
I don't usually like to kill insects, I always feel a bit guilty when a spider dies on account of me (Dave the cat is very adept at catching insects), or the poor ladybird that Simon put out of the car-window.....insect murder is NOT ok people. But horseflies. I was eventually out for blood. I even managed to get one that was trying to bite my stomach. Yeah. Got her good.
By the time we reached "Kill You Hill" the horseflies had gone to bed and we were left with just getting up the thing. I have to say, near the top I was tempted to just drop to my knees and lay on my face for a while but Tash got me though with a rousing rendition of "Careless Whisper". We rocked that tune.
Shortly after that Amber volunteered to be used as a sled. At that point it was well time for home...
Anyway, 9.5 hours after we left Hartness Down we arrived in Storrington. Or, well. A field near Storrington. Kenny picked us up and we were home, to watch the footie by 10:00pm.
What a day! Good hustle team xD
We're at £500. We're aiming to reach £1500.
If you have any pennies - literally, every penny matters to us and you think what we're doing is sort of cool (or even if you don't think it's cool) we're all hugely grateful for the funding.
All of the money goes to Oxfam and to help ex-servicemen live out the rest of their lives in peace and comfort.
If you don't like the idea of just giving cash we have some lovely little gifts and crafts (and I'm happy to attempt custom orders) and our entire range can be viewed here. We also have an Etsy shop here. I don't make a penny from doing them :)