Two weeks ago, on the coldest day of July (smack bang in the middle of Winter here in Australia) the husband and I decided to complete the ultimate challenge. Hike forty kilometres in a day and spend the night camping in the great outdoors. Slightly crazy, a little bit absurd, but what can I say, it challenged us mentally and physically to an extreme level. Personally, I wanted to see how far I could push myself before breaking point.
The hike we decided to tackle in the sensational Wilsons Promontory National Park was recommended to be completed over two to three days in their brochure. Throughout the hike, we were constantly chasing the light, leaving hardly anytime for recovery. Carrying four litres of water and only a daypack, we had no choice but to make it back to where we started. There was a moment where we had to endure waist high hyperthermia temperature water as we crossed the river in our underwear to get to the other side. Who knew that cold water temperature could actually cause physical pain. Throughout the hike my hands were both swollen from the cold air, my mind started playing tricks on me a few hours in were I started to think I had frostbite in my hands.
At the moment we turned around to walk back at the 20 kilometre mark, I was mentally and physically giving up, my legs felt like stone. My loving husband at this stage was yelling military style, that if we didn’t hike any faster we would be stuck out here in the open wildness, in the dark and cold. That was enough motivation to keep me going. We continued the last hour and a half in complete darkness with our handheld torch, which felt like a never ending trail back to civilisation.
Never in my life have I felt so happy to see my frosted covered car in the car park that my legs literally gave way. The next best thing was blasting the car heater on.
The best thing…. I gave it my all.
– Shirlene Lai Allison xo