21 March 2010

The Walk of a Thousand Miles

That's what it felt like to me - A Thousand Miles. Yesterday was The Big Day: Gail's Walk for Haiti, 16 kilometres coast to coast across Auckland, including up and down two volcanic cones.

There were eight of us, brave souls all. Fit bunnies too - all except me.

They came with their cross-trainers and running gear. I strolled up in my casual flats and trackpants. Their mini-backpacks contained sustenance for the journey; my bohemian satchel contained some snacks and my camera (Mr G shook his head when he saw me and said, All the wrong gear, babe!)

But was I worried? Nope. I was here for a good time, a scenic stroll across our beautiful city in great company, for a great cause.

Beautiful it certainly was. We live in a stunning city, and this walk takes you through some of the loveliest streets and parks. And I'm sure I would have found the other girls great company if only I could have kept up with them! Yes, I was the laggard at the back.

Thankfully my friend Gemma stuck with me (a lovely kind compassionate soul, not interested in breaking land-speed records). So it was good company. Great conversation, actually.

Too bad that as we got involved in our deep-and-meaningfuls, our pace seemed to unconsciously slow even further. Like as if we couldn't move our legs and our mouths at the same time - SO MUCH FOR MULTI-TASKING! Walk fast? No talking. Fast talking? Slow walking. (Stopping to take snaps didn't help either.)

I'm sure the other girls got sick of having to stop and wait for us at corners (so we didn't get lost), but they were too kind and gracious to complain. Bless them.

It goes to show how far I still have to go fitness-wise. All that time at the gym, and I still felt like I was going to die climbing up those mountains. Yes, mountains. They are volcanoes. They were high. I could hear my heart thumping in my ears as I struggled to the top, like a loud bongo drum.

Walking up One Tree Hill, I even had to let Gemma go ahead; I was keeping going by sheer determination. Put one foot in front of the other. You can do it. Keep breathing in and out. Stop. Lean on the rock wall.  Go again.

I was thankful for the encouraging cheer squad. Miss Fab (a.k.a. Princess) was touring the city with Miss O, Little T and Gail's hubby, M (talking non-stop, I'm sure!)

I heard my girl shouting "Go mummy!!" as I inched up the hills. They even had signs.

At the top there was icy cold water waiting, the chance for group photos and a few minutes of blessed sitting. God bless M and his chilly-bin.

And God bless Mr G, who drove back from Up North to come and support me, leaving at 5am to get back in time. The glorious sight of the van pulling alongside with Dash hanging out the window; Mr G topping up my water bottle and passing out some nut bars... ahhhh magic and warm fuzzies big time.

The temptation was there to jump in the van and catch a ride a couple of hundred metres up the road to where the other girls were steaming ahead... but no. Me and Gemz upped our game, dodged some traffic and caught up to the (patiently waiting) main group.

When we spotted the Other Coast in the near-distance, what a surge of hope and relief. It's OK, aching hips, not much longer. There there, blistered feet... not long now.

Limping, I made it to the end. Grateful for Gemma. Grateful for the end. Grateful it was over, and I had made it - even if I was the last.

I was just waiting for ultra-competitive Dash to call out, "Mummy, how come you came last??" I'm sure he thought I was in a race, and I had lost. But I didn't - lose, I mean. I made it the whole way. I am still aching and limping, more than a day later, but together we have raised $1000 for Haiti so far (with more promised).

So it was totally worth it (but I'm totally glad it's over!)

Here's Gail's account of our walk (I borrowed a few of her photos - the kids with the signs, one of me and the group shots!)

You can still donate to our Walk for Haiti. Click here to donate online. All funds raised go directly to the Red Cross.

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Weza said...

Simone you legend, you looked great in your photos and Gail had one photo in which you look super skinny. I think all that healthy stuff may just be paying off. You just walked 16km yesterday! That is some achievement!
Bless ya. Love the photos, love the post.

Unknown said...

I read Gail's post earlier... so proud of you gals! Way to go!

Gail said...

You did so well Simone! Gosh, for someone who is only just beginning her exercise journey... a 16km walk is HUGE. Haha. Sorry, didn't really warn you about my fit friends huh?

Gemma is a Gem huh? Great photos - I especially love that Mr G drove alongside you with goodies!

Thanks for joining me :)xx

Widge said...

Good on ya simoney!!! well done! so wish I could have joined you girls on that walk. I love to walk, can do it for miles. not into that running thing though ;)
Will have a wee contribution to you guys next week :)

Jen said...

Ive been walking regularly for over a year now and Im impressed 16 kms is a long long long way

bless your supporters :)

Jen said...

got your comment :)

and responded to you on my blog in case you dont read my response here it is

"no problems Simoney - it was a long long way"

I googled how far it would be if I did it last night and I dont know whether I could have done it
Im impressed!!!

Anonymous said...

Nice job Simoney!!!!!
So proud of you!
I am so with Widgey, would love to have been there with you...if I am ever in your area I qant to do that walk it sounds amazing!!!
Was thinking about you guys!
OH and I love your little outfit...there ALWAYS needed to be one person not quite as "sporty" as the others...it is all good girl and besides I thought you looked cute!

Sophie said...

Well done you!!! How lovely that the families were such good cheerleaders for you all!

Amy said...

I am so proud of you :)

banban said...

Well done!!!! Wish I could have joined you. Good on you girls, am very proud and inspired.

Trees said...

Wow. You are amazing x

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