Kokoda Track | 1 month of training to go

‘Strong’ is a mindset

‘You’re looking strong,’ said one of the coaches as he walked past. He wasn’t in the class I was taking, but he was nearby, taking a private PT client. He took the time to walk past so he could tell me the change he could see in me, since I’d announced, 8 months prior to his entire gym, that I planned to take on the Kokoda Track.

I grinned.

‘I know,’ I thought to myself.

Instead I just said thanks. And that I apprecaited him saying that.

And I really did.

But what I appreciated even more was that I didn’t need to hear it.

For the first time in my life I didn’t require a single piece of external validation to confirm what I already knew – that I was strong. That I could do it. That after 6 months of hard training, I was ready.

That I was ready to take on Kokoda.

Sometimes, it’s important to ignore your family

My family thinks I’m idiotic to be carrying my own pack. My Grandad, bless his soul, concerned and direct as ever, called me stupid. My mother, a perpetual worry-wart, offered to pay the $700 for a local villager to carry my shit for me.

I refused of course.

And now it’s my pride that’s on the line. I want to prove what I already know – that I can do it.

I’m not stupid enough to think it will be easy. Or that I won’t hate most – if not all – of it.

But I’ve come to believe that I can endure it. Survive it. Conquer it.

And that’s all I’m really asking of myself at this point.

Kokoda Track Predictions

  • Sleep will suck. I have a penchant for king beds and memory foam. I’ll be getting a blow up mattress and a fold up pillow.
  • My mind will falter long before my body does.
  • My body will falter long after I think it will.
  • I’ll cry.
  • I’ll accidentally (or maybe even on purpose) eat meat. Girl’s gotta eat, ya know?
  • I’ll have the best shower of my life the day the trek finishes.

Will take bets on any of the above.

Days to Kokoda Track: 24

Kokoda Track | Reflecting on 1 month of training

Taking on the Kokoda Track

So I’ve decided to take on a pretty big challenge. I’m one month into my training for the Kokoda Track.

It feels slow and as though I’m not doing enough. My trainer tells me I’m doing a lot – more than I need to, even. It’s hard to tell.

All I know is that the fear is what’s keeping me motivated at this point.

Fear of not being able to finish.
Fear of being the slowest in the group.
Fear of failure.
Fear of failure.

It’s a powerful motivator, fear. And it makes me run 5km faster, climb Jacobs Ladder one extra time and sprint one more interval each week. Without that fear I don’t think I’d be doing as much as I am – or more importantly, that I’d be able to stick to it.

Fear = motivation

I suppose the specifics of the motivating factor don’t really matter in this case since it’s for a positive outcome that makes me healthier and drives me toward an audacious goal.

I’ve noticed though that the winning isn’t actually in the doing – I often don’t care how fast or far I’ve gone. Because the battle starts long before – it’s starts, always, with the battle of will to simply show up. To fight my own ennui and show the fuck up. Every. Single. Time.

Fear is not the enemy

I’m only now beginning to realise how powerful fear is. It’s spoken about so negatively. It’s something to be avoided at all costs. But it’s the reason I’m getting to 6am workouts every single weekday. It’s the reason I drag my ass to Jacobs Ladder at 7.30am every Saturday morning. It’s the reason I’m learning to run – which I fucking hate, it turns out. But I do it anyway. Because my fear makes me

Other lessons I’ve learned training for the Kokoda Track:

> One missed workout doesn’t matter – but two does.
> A good PT is worth every dollar
> Sleep is the key. To everything. To life.
> Hill sprints were invented by the devil and he watches and laughs as I do them.

Days to Kokoda: 134

You can also read my ‘One month to go‘ reflections.

Why I want to be the wind | The Travelling Wind [Poem]

The Travelling Wind

I want to be the wind.

Not the sun, gazing upon the earth, omniscient and all seeing. He is forever watching but fixed, set in his ways and in his place.

Not the rain or hail or thunder or lightning – or even the rainbow after it all. They’re too fleeting, too momentary, gone too soon.

Not the clouds – the impressionable clouds that go where they’re told and are so easily destroyed by the sun’s rays or a light breeze.

No, I want to be the wind. The wind is the enforcer. The wind is the true master of the sky. Calling the shots, travelling where I please, taking the hapless clouds with me, giving them direction and dimension. Across the sea I’d travel to places I’ve never seen.

I’d whistle through the iron beams of the Eiffel Tower.

I’d curl around the copper lady that looks over New York City.

I’d bound across the curved blue roofs that dot the Santorini cliffs.

I’d stream up and down the giants of Giza after racing across the Nile.

I’d gather the snow filled clouds above the Himalayas.

I’d stretch myself across Uluru then rest with the Doctor in Fremantle Port, home at last after circumnavigating the globe.

How beautiful the world is. No waiting for lost baggage, a late bus, the next flight. Instead all I wait for is a moment of inspiration to decide where I want to go next. There’s no wondering, no wishing.

For I am the wind. I go where I please.

For more short form poetry visit @missbethcan

For lengthier poetic musings visit my poetry archive.

Want to get updates straight into your inbox?

Every week I send out an email with my latest pondering.