Now I’m pretty fit. Or so I thought. So when a friend suggested that a group of us should do the Kokoda Challenge I jumped straight in. The choice was between a 15 or 30km trek through the Dandenong ranges to raise money for the Kokoda Foundation. I thank all that’s important to me that we went for the 15.
I’ve done a couple of hikes. 16km at the beautiful Wilsons Prom, about 12km though the You Yangs, and several 10km along the coast from St Kilda. I’ll be all over this I thought. Jesus was I wrong.
Now a bit of back story. I basically seem to function better when I’m stressed. So whenever I try to relax by having a lovely massage, I usually then hurt myself. So after an amazing hot stone message Grand Final weekend I went back to train at the gym and managed to tweak an existent back injury. This caused my back to spasm, 3 days before this “walk”.
I use “walk” in inverted columns. This was a challenge in every sense of the word. I’m basically an idiot. I did look at the route elevation, but let’s face it, I didn’t get it. It was just wavy lines.
It was a beautiful start. At sunrise they wheeled out an old Digger to read The Ode from For the Fallen. Get’s me every time, I’m sure I cry way more these days than I ever did. Then after the last post was bugled, we set off.
Never a good start when you slightly limp to the start line, apparently it made me look gangster. I doubt that, but made me laugh.
This trek was evil in so many ways. It starts with the Kokoda fitness track. People run up this bloody thing, me not so much. It was like they had chosen the steepest drops and peaks to push you. I have also discovered my arch nemesis to be gravel. I can’t tell you how many times I slipped on that stuff!! I was pretty much swearing at it like a crazy person. We walked through gardens, down rocky crevices, climbed over fallen trees. I actually saw a lady crying half way up one of the steepest hills!
Now again this is absolutely nothing compared to the actual Kokoda trek. I had all my limbs and didn’t have malaria or dysentery. So I really did need to suck it up.
But I have never been happier to finish something. And even though I do feel I achieved, getting through it with my little gang. I held them back, but they stuck with me in the spirit of Mateship and Endurance. Also loved getting my medal at the end. Prizes are the best.
So would I do it again? Right now abso bloody lutely not!! But maybe ask me again next year when I can’t remember how sore my legs and feet are (it’s probably still a no, but I’ll be happy to sponsor you x)