A couple of weeks ago I was defeated by the 1000 Steps walk in the Dandenongs. It was two weeks and two days after the surgery to implant Zappy III, my new pacemaker, and I was pretty bummed out by having to admit defeat half way up. I was feeling kind of wonky, and I thought it best not to push myself too hard and potentially screw things up for myself.
Yesterday afternoon, I decided it was high time I had another shot at it. After all, it had been a month and two days since going under the knife, and in that time I've done a couple of walks on the flat at a decent pace, plus a short walk down at Point Addis that involved quite a few steps going down and coming back up the cliffs to the beach. Plus shopping, which is basically an endurance event. Heh.
Credit where credit is due - my friend Brett put a bit of thought into whether or not those steps at Point Addis would be easier than my failed attempt at the 1000 Steps before suggesting it, and I survived. In actual fact, I barely struggled at all. I call that a win! (Let's ignore the fact that I barely struggled because I kept a pace akin to that of the proverbial tortoise the whole way up...)
This is the view of Point Addis from a disance, by the way. The cliffs we climbed are the ones towards the left of the picture, and are a little lower than the ones this picture is taken from. It's Brett's photo, not mine, taken another day. I was far too busy trying not to die to take any pictures, and I definitely didn't walk that far ;)
So anyway, I got to the 1000 Steps car park, and I got what could only be described as a rock star spot - five cars from the start of the walk. I imagine that had a little something to do with the fact that it was pouring with rain and only about ten degrees. This photo doesn't illustrate it well unless you realise that the entire windscreen is a slick of fast-moving water, and the little wobbles in the surface are huge, fat rain drops!
My brave friend Chay was the only other starter, and I sat in the car and waited for him. He eventually arrived and, unbeknownst to me, parked opposite me. I was so engrosesd in playing with my phone that I didn't see him pull in, and he was able to sneak up and scare the crap out of me by slamming his hands against the passenger window. That's right, Chay, scare the girl with the dodgy heart right before a hike! ;)
The walk went well. We didn't hurry up - I never do - but we kept a fairly steady pace and gossiped the entire way up and back down again. I guess that's a sign you're doing okay, and it also seems to help distract you from the pain a little. We stopped for a quick breather a few times, and I probably only noticed that I needed to because I was struggling to speak, and when we got to the top we went straight down instead of standing around, resting. Well, right after I took this all-important Proof Of Life selfie, anyhow!
I didn't make use of any of the seats on the trail, and, now that I think of it, I didn't even notice them. I guess I just wasn't looking for them because I didn't need them. Plus, the fronts of my legs were already wet. I didn't need to add a wet bum to that ;)
I have to say I'm pretty proud of myself, in case you couldn't tell by that photo. I almost look a little bit crazed with the success of it all! The fact I showed up in the pouring rain isn't such a huge deal - my determination means that once I set my mind on something I will do it, regardless of the obstacles.
I also don't really count rain as an obstacle. I've done enough hiking, and spent enough of my time outdoors in Tassie in seriously crappy weather for work, for it not to be an issue. And more than one friend said it was too dangerous to attempt on a day like that, but again, my judgement on "dangerous" is skewed, having pranced about a boulder field in the fog on a frosty morning (and you do have to prance, because the boulders are often spaced quite far apart!), with a rucksack packed full of Elliot traps on my back, all in the name of science. I'm such an Evel Knievel ;) (although luckily I have only broken four bones so far in my life, not 433!). Plus, I wasn't planning on running up or down the steps, so really it was a pretty low risk.
It took me a little over an hour to do the loop. Two seconds over the hour, in fact *shakes fist* But at least now, like when I failed to finish last time, I have a tangible goal to aim for. I'm a bit sore today - when I woke up, my legs were aching. And the wound site is pretty stiff, too. But that will get better. And sore is good. Sore means you're alive and you can feel.
I'm back in the game!