I went tramping today, with my OH. Nothing unusual in that? It was a difficult grade route, 8 hours in total, including an increase of elevation up to 1250m, a very steep ascent / descent. Still nothing unusual in that? I knew I would be crying in agony before the end yet I still went. You might think that is slightly unusual. Here’s why.
We are doing the 3 day Hump Ridge Track in November. It’s well known for being really tough. We have also recently started camping, so we can go tramping in different locations locally, all stunning New Zealand scenery. This time, we went to piano flat and decided to go for a walk. We deliberately chose the 7-8 hour route, so we could practice long distance tough terrain, good prep for November.
I knew, with my knee issue, that going up would be hard (on the lungs that is but not the knee!) but I also knew the decent would be excruciating. With no meniscus, it’s full body high impact on the joint that really causes pain, which is why I no longer run. On the way up I can use the walking poles and triceps to aid me, but on the decent I have gravity to contend with, unfortunately.
I don’t take pain killers. I have been told that longer term wise, paracetamol is safe, but most others have some type of dangerous side effects over a longer time period. I have just learned to live with it, and I don’t let it stop me. My OH cannot understand why I do it to myself, and he insisted that all other tramps from now on are on the flat.
My pig headed history
Remember Beijing? I was advised by the doctors not to go. I had a medical certificate to send to my airline to get a refund. I sat on the start line exactly 8 weeks after my head injury and bike accident. I completed the race in what was to be my best ever world triathlon grand final finish: 17th place.
Remember Auckland? I was due knee surgery and told not to go. I refused to cancel. I was then told I wouldn’t finish. I did, and I wasn’t last Brit, or last in the age group either! I also completed Tough Mudder the day before surgery!
The challenge ahead
The knee will continue to deteriorate. It will hurt, and this will increase. Whether I sit on my ass or not, this will happen. What on earth is the point of sitting on the couch waiting for the day that I need a new knee? This won’t get me anywhere, and will simply waste valuable time in my already too short a life on this earth. I have huge plans, I have big dreams, I have no time to waste!!
I will continue to push as hard as I can. I will cry, I will be in agony at times, but this knee will NOT beat me. Like my husband reminded me on a tough point of the journey today – ‘Can’t is not in your vocabulary!’
Today was a huge victory for me. Although I had unshakable belief in myself, I actually wasn’t sure if I actually would make it all the way to the top and back. But I ignored this doubt and ploughed on.
I have taught myself one thing today: I still have what it takes to push myself to the absolute ends and beyond to get the absolute most out of what I have. That is a valuable gift.