Three years ago, my husband competed in the Oxfam 100-km walk, which is from Jells Park in Wheelers Hill through the Dandenong Ranges and finishes in Warburton. The fastest team completes it by running in approximately 10 hours. The average teams complete it in approximately 28 hours and the slowest teams have 48 hours to complete it.
Ever since my husband competed, I wanted to do it. Every year, the event would come and go and I would wish I had competed, so mid last year, I thought this can go on every year or I can find a team of four and compete. I was over being on the sidelines watching the event and I wanted to be in it. So once I was clear that I was going to compete in the event, my next task was to find three other people for my team.
Believe it or not, it was easy to find a team so now for me it was happening. The next step was then to start training. I already walk 5 days a week for approximately 6 kms, so now I had to increase my distance. The first big walk I did was 12 km. I was a little tired after that walk but okay really. I did a couple of 12 km walks and each time it was easier. Then I increased to 15 km, then 17 km, then a few around the 20 km distance. Then up to 22 to 25 km. I did a lot of those walks. It got easier each time.
I then found my focus started to change to the time I walked. I clearly remember when I first broke a 5-hour walk. That was a real sense of achievement. Then a 6-hour walk. After that, my focus moved back to distances. I walked 37 km one day, then 42 km, and then 48 km.
What surprised me the most was how each time when I improved, it was a small goal of achievement. I felt sensational. Really proud of the effort I had put in. Each achievement was getting me closer to my big goal of 100km.
My next goal is to walk 60 km and that will be over the Easter weekend. I am excited and really looking forward to it. I have complete belief and faith that I will be able to do it and not only able to do it but will be fine when I finish it. I think that has been the part that has surprised me the most is my recovery from these walks. I might be a little tired at the end, but I find the next day, I feel fantastic.
Don’t misunderstand me. The actual event will push me both physically and mentally. Physically because 100 km is a lot more than 60 km so I will have to dig deep. Apparently, it is your feet that can be the reason for pulling out. The highest percentage of people who don’t complete the event do so because of massive blisters on their feet. You can prepare and be super fit, but if you get the big blisters, they can be the part that brings your dream to an end.
The mental element for me will be going without sleep. Teams have the option to sleep or not. My team has decided not to sleep but to keep walking through the night. I enjoy my sleep and I sleep well so a whole night without sleep could really push me.
So on Friday, 19th April 2013 at 8:30 am, I will be heading off to achieve my big goal of walking 100 km to raise money for charity. I have been training approximately 16 hours a week since January so the commitment has been massive. However, I have really enjoyed it all. I haven’t been as fit for a long time, which is fantastic. What I have found the best is, each week, I have a new goal to achieve, a little bit further to walk, a little bit longer to walk and when I achieve it I feel motivated and inspired. I love that I am inspiring myself.
The other bonus is by participating in this event, I get to make a difference in the lives of others. These are people I have never met, but my small effort will impact on them. They will be given seeds to grow vegetables, they can eat some of the vegetables, then sell some and perhaps have enough money to buy a goat. The goat can give them milk, which if they sell they may be able to buy a cow. The ripple effect goes on and on.
- Decided on my goal
- Create small steps to reach my big goal
- With each small step I am more inspired to keep going
- With each achievement I am closer to reaching my big goal
If you would like to donate or sponsor our team it would be much appreciated. You can log onto: https://trailwalker.oxfam.org.au/team/home/13477 any donation over $2.00 is tax deductible.
So please set a goal that seems too big, then break it down into smaller steps and take action! Enjoy the journey.