I don’t know where to begin.
First things first. Thanks to all the messages, when your miles out your comfort zone they are a massive boost.
I’ve had the most amazing few days as I’ve made my journey to Whitehorse, Yukon and finalised preparations for the challenge of kayaking 500 miles. I have no idea what I’ve got myself into and because of that I’ve struggled to know and understand how best to prepare for this. All I know is that I need to do everything I can before the race to make sure I’m not short of anything whilst I’m down the river, because from 12 on Wednesday I’m on my own. Only I can get myself to the finish, but I don’t know what I need to do to make this happen. Any suggestions would be welcome.
I’ve met some other paddlers and they are less than positive about my chances of finishing. It usually goes:
“Ohh you’re doing solo kayak, that’s pretty brave, you must have done a lot of preparation for this”
I never tell people that I’ve only been kayaking for 3 months and have had a few experiences in a kayak. I’m petrified that they’d throw me out the race before I’ve got started..
I know that I haven’t done the boat time I should have, which makes me scared about what I’m about to face. But at the sametime I’ve learnt so much since latvia, I’ve got the experience of going through walls in the marathons last year and this race is another chance for me to put the Congo on peoples minds by undertaking this challenge. I’ve been thinking lots about last august and running in the Congo. I hope all these experience and the desire to support the amazing work that Women for Women do will be enough to take me get to the finish. I haven’t thought about not finishing as it isn’t an option for me. I’m not letting the idea of scratching come into my mind, but often I can feel it pushing into my thoughts. I can’t handle another experience like Latvia, it was shattering. Failing like that was so painful.
I’m really struggling. just feel a lot of expectation at the moment and swamped by not knowing what’s to come. At the same time, I know I’m just going to go at my pace, enjoy it and smile, because the opposite to that is pretty shit.
There’s a statue of Jack London in whitehorse (someone who I’ve read lots about and inspires me) and it has the best inscription under it. It reads:
“This statue is dedicated to everyone who follows their dreams”
Being here is a real dream for me. I’m so lucky to be here. I’ve always wanted to be in the wilderness with just myself to get out of it. In the wild, out on my own. But there are many in the DRC who have had their dreams shattered and replaced by nightmares. Thus i hope that by me doing this that a couple of people will be made aware of the Congo, and perhaps throw a few pennies to my justgiving page to support Women for Women. It isn’t fair that people can live their dreams and others can’t. It sounds pretty obvious and idealistic, but when you’ve spoken to the women in Bukavu and Goma and know what they’ve been through, I can’t help feel guilty. This kayak race will hopefully be another step in making people aware of their plight.
Whatever happens. I’m pleased I’ve made it this far, I’ve come along way from March to now 24hrs or so off beginning this race. 500 fucking miles…the map is over 60 pages, its the longest book I’ve read in years and it has pictures!
Knowing what I know now, I can’t even believe that there is a small chance I’ll finish it. I can’t imagine what I’ll be like when I get to the finish line. One thing for sure it’ll be nice to give two fingers to the people who scoffed at me doing this.
This is a shiit blog. My heads a mess and don’t really know what to write, but I wanted to write something. Trying to get in the right frame of mind is tough, I know that as I’m constantly flicking through my ipod trying to find one sony to listen to and it keeps throwing up awful songs.
Hopefully be writing to you from Dawson on Sunday… If not call the Mounties and White Fang.