Mind and body

In my preparation for this journey, I thought I was totally prepared, training my self to run 3 times a day with ease, day after day, my body was comfortable and mentally I was capable of pulling myself through it. Now nearly 2000 km into the run, I feel that I am starting to understand how we only scrape the surface of our true mental and physical capabilities, that digging deep into the (I relate it to peeling off sectors of an onion as you dig deeper and deeper) inner core that I never knew existed.

As I string the days together and the relentless pounding adds up, the weather turning on me the cold cutting deep into my starved and overworked muscles, my body fat reserves depleted. My feet ache during the day; I don’t know which way to wriggle them to ease the pain. At night I can’t wait to get into my tent to rest my bones, the ache starts in my calves and rides up my body, twitching in waves until I fall asleep.

Then there is the never ending hunger to feed, it is nearly impossible to eat what we burn during the day, on top of this there are days where the terrain is so ruggered that the support crew can’t get to us nor us to them. It has been some days, up to 12 hours of running climbing crawling hiking to get to the next point, missing lunch and no food with us. Then there are the nights when I wake, so hungry that my mouth is watering and I can’t sleep as the hunger twists and writhes inside.

Then its 5:30 in the morning and -4 outside, pitch dark as the sun is 2 hours from showing its fiery face. There is an icy cold wind blowing, hanging low over the valley carrying the mist swirling between our tents. I have to get changed and start the day. Everything is moist from the condensation in my tent; my body is stiff and sore. Slowly I crawl out of my sleeping bag and start changing into my ice cold clothing, gasping as my breath is taken away by the coldness of the clothing, physically you start entering into the red zone.

This is where the next layer is peeled away, automatically my mind kicks in and seems to lift the body to the next tolerance level things seem to blur and the pain is shifted aside.

I know that my body is in the condition to carry on, it’s just to get started and then things fall into place. Each day I learn something new about my ability and each day I start to understand my physical side more. My mental strength has grown day by day and my resolve to carry on no matter what has been fired by the passion that has evolved from this project. I feel once you have conditioned yourself mentally, understanding and getting to know your physical ability; I think that you can achieve almost anything. Thank you all for awakening this inner strength in me!

Tomorrow we head off on to the most difficult part of our journey 50 km to the yellow river and then into the ice and snow of the mountains.

“What the mind can conceive the body can achieve.”

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