The biggest enemy for the kind of long=haul, self-propelled adventure I have embarked on is injuries, when the only essential tool you have, the body, fails. For any reason, that idea never crossed my mind, until today.
Today is day 4 of thru-hiking after cycling over 4000km and living in my tiny tent for 6 weeks. Today, as I was putting my backpack on and stepping onto a new trail, a sharp pain burst out of nowhere in my left side hip. I have a pages-long history of small injuries linked with this kind of intensity, could it be thru-hiking or heavy multi-sport training, but this was completely new, something I had never experienced before. I tried to suck it up and kept going uphill for 3km until I couldn’t do a step further and collapsed in the middle of the trail in pain, with despair trying to crawl into my mind. There was no point, I just couldn’t do it and I had to face that reality now without thinking about everything it could involve later. The insane amount of mosquitoes that instantly buzzed around my legs and head forced me to make a quick decision. Good luck in this misfortune was that I was not embedded in the wilderness but only 3km from a trailhead busy with people. I stumble downhill cringing and heavily leaning on my one hiking pole. I stopped every 200m to breathe in a grunt but finally made it back to the road and thankfully found friendly helpful people who gave me a ride back to civilization.
I am still unsure of what happened, if it is serious or just a body warning that requires a few rest days but so far this event taught me two things.
First, even if I would like to believe so, I am not indestructible and overuse, overtraining and fatigue injuries do not only happen to others. Despite the fact that I am well=trained and that I need less recovery time than most people, there is still a limit, a line that cannot be crossed. My body is the only piece of gear I cannot easily replace and I should therefore take a greater care of it if I want it to take me all the way to Ushuaia.
Second, this is just a bump in the road and not, as my thoughts tried to make me believe so, the potential end of it. It might be a turn I did not expect but that is the very beauty of the journey and why I embarked on it. Right now I have no idea of what is gonna happen, I might be back on trails in three days or pulled over for two weeks but restlessly going over all the options will only drive me insane. This was the only planned section of my itinerary, the exception to my golden rule : “why would I make a plan knowing that nothing is gonna go accordingly?” This episode just confirms it. All I have to do is letting it go, or going with it. Things happen and they are just things happening. We chose the way we experience them. I won’t let this one ruin my good vibe !
At the end I am so grateful this happened in this place, at this moment. Jasper is not the worst place to get stuck and it was super easy to get the help I needed. Also it was a perfect way to make me step back from my “pushing south” mindset and rethink the journey as a whole.
Tramping, cycling, running, skiing, travelling, I keep exploring this amazing planet we live on. The following texts give an insight of my various wanderings. From poetry to trip reports or thoughts on particular subjects, this pages try to reflect how I travel through this modern world.