Monday, November 11, 2013

Quiet weekend stroll

OMG - my feet hurt and I am losing one of my big toe nails.

No biggie.  We didn't have much on over the weekend so decided to walk 60 kms.  (Actually we walked 66 kms as we were one of the first teams out and the route wasn't marked properly so we went the long way.)  Again, no biggie!

Why the weekend stroll?  To raise money for a very important cause - the Chris O'Brien Lifehouse in Sydney.   

All up 1,214 walkers raised over $3.4m for the In Patient Care Programme at the Lifehouse through their fundraising efforts.  Such a staggering effort and achievement and I for one am so proud I was part of this event.  And I am very proud of my team members - we were fierce and strong - and determined to get the job done as a glass of wine was waiting!!!!

Our team was a hoot - a mix of women brought together through two sister-in-laws, Georgina and Bonita.  During the months leading up to the weekend event groups of us met up and we definitely got to know one another completely and utterly during that time - walking and talking our way through the streets, lanes and beaches of Sydney.  We'd pick a meeting point and simply walk, walk, walk.  Those lucky enough to join Georgina and I always got a tea stop - being the nanas we are, we had to stop at some point for our English Breakfast tipple!

Boy oh boy, were we fit by the time we stepped out on Saturday, toned and ready to take on those 60kms! 

The weekend itself was full of highs and lows - with many injuries. The weather was not kind - it was searing hot on the Saturday and pouring with rain on the Sunday. Best of both worlds I guess? 

It was the best feeling arriving at camp on Saturday afternoon.  A hot shower, cup of tea and massage later and we were ready to collapse on the grass in the shade and rest up.

The organisers were amazing -it was a very slick camp site - and the afternoon and evening merged into one.  The dinner was delish and the entertainment hilarious.  Our ever resourceful team laid out a feast of the most beautiful snacks and wine - which went straight to our heads and forced us off to our tents!

We slept soundly and were the first team out at the crack of dawn. (I was the cheeky first walker through the gates - having endless early morning smart-arse energy!!!!).

The 30 kms back seemed quicker - as a return journey always does.  The rain didn't worry us - it was such a relief after the searing heat the day before.  

Our immediate group were fit as a fiddle and returned home in record time. 

Some of the others were travel sore and had injuries the poor loves, so they hobbled back, but we all crossed the line in some shape or form.

Just thinking about crossing that finish line makes me teary. All our families were there, cheering us across the line.  We all cried - it had been such an emotional time - plus we were all pretty drained and had-it!  We all waited for the last of our group to come through - and man did we holler them in - it was such an achievement and the last of our group were pretty injured with twisted ankles, blisters and bleeding toes.  Glamorous?  No.

Then the ultimate - Georgina and Bonita's darling husbands had their boat moored at Darling Harbour and a few of us plus our families climbed aboard and sailed off into the harbour.  

The champagne and water view were equally stunning!  What a way to end an amazing weekend - in true Sydney style with friends and family out on the water.

Perfect!  When we finally got home I sunk into a hot bath and fell asleep!  Thank God B yelled out to me - it could have been a fatal end!

Will I do it again next year?  Probably not.  The effort involved to train and raise the money - $2k per person - is massive.  It is a lot for one person and I just don't see how I could put the training time in again.  

I will definitely do it again however - it was such an amazing event - and such a special time training and walking with true friends - I just need a year or two in between weekend strolls!

It's time to launch back into other work and life projects - between the cookbook the year before and then the charity work - life at the ranch has been on a back burner.  It really is time to focus on other projects, hang up the serious walking shoes and hope my big toe nail doesn't fall off.  Ohh and unpack - we only moved house the weekend before - again, no biggie!

(Post-script did - wwwwwwwww!!!).

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