I rounded the corner, looked up… and burst into tears.
Because there I was, at mile 25.5, thinking I was almost there – and in front of me was the biggest hill of the entire walk. My feet were two white-hot balls of pain. My hips were shot with agony with every step. My left knee had checked out long ago and was having great fun with razor-sharp chopsticks. And my brain?
Well, my brain was babbling about all manner of things, not least of which was, “You will never get up that hill. Not a chance, loser!”
And for a minute or two, I believed it. Because I was utterly exhausted. I hadn’t drunk enough water. And my synapses had shrivelled up.
Then I shook myself and said, “Fuck you, brain! I’m doing this.”
And off we went, my brain and I, and Joe, and Jenn. Up that last damn hill and over the finish line and into a bottle of Prosecco and the orangest orange blanket you ever did see.
Then I realised there were people out there who’d walked 52 miles. Bonkers.
Thing is, though, I’d do it again. Not tomorrow, because I can’t really move around much right now, but again.
Because it was epic. It was an amazing experience, not least because the Ridgeway is gorgeous and even more so at sunrise. Walking along and feeling the day get imperceptibly brighter is an experience more people should have. Listening to the birds waking up (and screeching at us because we’re mental) is an experience more people should have.
Walking in the dark creates fascinating conversations about all manner of topics. Catching up with groups in front of you who are playing Jump Around by House of Pain is super-fun.
And realising that you’ve just completed a 26 mile walk (actually my GPS says it was more like 27 miles) by sheer force of will because at the end, it hurt so much I didn’t know how I was still moving.
All of these things are life. Not just wandering through life, but living life.
I’m very lucky to get the chance to do this stuff.
Thank you so much to everyone who sponsored us, you have no idea how much it means. More so now that’ve done it and we hurt so much.
And thank you to my team. I couldn’t have asked for a better one 🙂
Vicky Fraser is a copywriter, author, and entrepreneur. She really did run away with the circus… but when she’s not swinging from a trapeze, she’s showing other copywriters and small business owners how to work with better clients, make more money, and stop missing bathtimes, first words, and dinners with angry partners. In fact, she wrote the book on it. Get your copy here.
PS Many things in life are accomplished by sheer force of will, I think. Including success in business. My Superheroes are constantly impressing me with their will to get shit done. Grab a copy of my book here to get started like them. I promise I won’t make you walk 26 miles in 10 hours.