It was approaching midnight, or midday or morning, or whatever. Sense of time was lost, sense of surroundings was vanished, sense of being was f***d. There was only pain, very heavy breathing, sweat, dizziness, nasty smell, hills, rocks, darkness, ankles getting twisted, and the weight of the world was crushing your shoulders, spraining your spine, squeezing your lungs, hunching your back and above all making you wish you were never born.
Last weekend me and a few number of lads ( British for guys ), decided, at our very own will with no external, internal or extra torrential influence from anyone or anything else, to go to the woods to spend two nights doing things many people consider undoable.
We arrived at 22:00, packed our food in, collected our guitars, strapped a Gucci WWF belt around our soon to be wasted waists, carried a 50-60 pound mother flower on our backs and started kangaroo marching.
Total weight carried on body was something between 70-80 lbs, maybe more as some had their nutties stashed in their jackets like croissants and peanut butter and the like.
I don’t know what the pace was like but I know it was a maximum walking pace, it was like when you reach the maximum speed of walking with your steps striding and stretching your groin area fully that you could feel your two little tennis balls turning into two little lollies rubbing each other.
We had to march in one single line and you had to keep the pace up with the flock otherwise you fall behind and every one start pushing you by saying ‘Come on you C**t, you Little worthless piece of ****’
During the stroll at the park (well that’s how I like to describe it now), the weight increases and you start suffering more than ever. How did the weight increase? I’ll leave this to the end of the post as a smart way of making this article a page turner.
Two things were slowing me down and making me hate my life; Hills and more hills. I could barely keep the pace when on flat path or downhill ones, but keeping that pace uphill made me think of my mum so many times and how much I missed her. I started feeling dizzy, disoriented and light headed. I kept mumbling things I can’t remember, but the only one phrase that saves me in such times is ‘It’s going to be over before you know it, I promise’
I believe two people couldn’t carry on during half way cause of spinal injury and maybe another guy wanted to end his life or something of that sort. Well very frankly speaking, the thoughts of me passing away crossed my mind more than the rocks I was stepping on, that’s why I guess I recited the Qur’an most of the way thinking I am about to meet my creator.
Sometimes you reach a point in life where your mind tells you that you must stop doing what you are doing right now otherwise the body will seize up and you will collapse. But that’s just the mind thinking that way, it’s not necessarily the truth or reality, or if you don’t do this, this will happen. It’s just your mind responding in the way it’s receiving the messages from your body. For example, you are in pain, the area affected is sending messages over and over to the brain asking it to stop the action, however, there’s another thing going on in your brain that is fighting these messages and turning them down, this thing has many names such as, grit, determination, power, will power, masturbation, I don’t know, but this is what kept me going. I refused to fail or stop. I said to myself ‘Analyse the situation’ I am now in so much pain, what can I do? Forget about it and keep on putting on step forward and repeat. Now I am dizzy, light headed and weak. Ok, sugar and sodium levels are seriously low, have a peanut butter sachet, and so I did. I am about to collapse and either faint or simply black out, well just keep going and see how far you can go before you can collapse, and if you collapse well you have done your best, if you haven’t then good news, keep it up.
As my horoscope once advised that everything comes to an end. After 2 hours, we stopped. Having covered 5.5 miles. There was no feeling of content or achievement as pain and fatigue were the stars of the show. If you want me to describe the feeling, its somewhere between reaching the top of Everest and thinking ok, now what?
The happiest moment for me during that mayhem weekend was when I dropped the sink on back. I felt reborn.
We then set our mansions up and got in pairs, you can choose who you want to pair with but when you can’t think straight you are happy pairing with an ape if need be.
Up at 05:00 after getting two hours of sound sleep, breakfast and made sure we’ve got everything we need for the weekend neat, tidy and clean.
For the morning, we explored the field and played a game called how far is that tree. Then another game called, hide and seek and hugging nettles, getting poked in the eyes with sharp plants, painting our faces as if it’s our birthdays, throwing up ants, and finally sweating 2 Litres/sec in 30 degrees temperature.
Whoever got spotted by the other two guys from a distance with binoculars failed, and whoever didn’t get spotted passed. After crawling for 90 minutes uphill in the bushes, I was 50 meters away from the two spotters and didn’t get tagged.
Then we walked, walked and walked again for hours with 30-40 lbs of weight and I started falling behind, my legs couldn’t just keep the pace, I felt so week, I tried to stuff in as much calories as possible but I’d always feel sick eating too much, I got yelled and screamed at to the point in which I hated my name.
Finally had about 30 minutes to have lunch and get our feet checked. My 2nd toe looked like Notre dam the character, on both feet. My left knee was really hurting like never before, my should blades seized up and my body was not functioning the way it should be.
Around 19:00, we planned our route to go to the woods as individuals and navigate our way around the woods plotting different check points along the way kind of like map my run exercise but this time no iPhone or gps, only a map, compass, a whistle, a torch and my mum’s prayers.
Time allowed was under 2 hours, distance around 5 km and the only rule was not to get lost.
After check point two, I was charged up and content having reached both points in time, instead of setting my compass on 1100 mills, I set it on 0100 and started singing ‘It’s my birthday, it’s my birthday, I’ma spend my money, pretty lady, pretty lady, come and be my honey’
The 3rd check point should fall within 6650 meters from check point two, after counting the steps, and going beyond 800 meters, no check point, I was somewhere near the abyss, didn’t know where I am, I got scared, I got lost.
After realizing how much of an ass I was, I thought of taking a back bearing which is tracing your way back to the point you missed, but I was worried I would run out of time. So I said **** it and set the compass on to the 4th checkpoint.
200 meters away from the finish point, I heard some footsteps getting louder bit by bit. It was a lad thinking he was a smarter ass than I am thinking he could out race an Egyptian road runner to the finish. He made it a second behind.
At 02:00 we went to sleep.
Same details again as the day before, breakfast, inspected our kit but this time the weather was playing the morale game.
It was pissing wet through which means it was honking which means rain rain rain and more rain.
Remember at the beginning of this post, I said the weight increased during the march earlier that week? You got it. It was raining and the kit got wet hence the weight went up.
It was now really cold, I was chilling my bones out then again at our very own choice decided to go for a 4 mile run with our guitars, WWF belt, boots and fatigue. It was very tough at the beginning and towards the end but was doable during the half way.
500 meters before the finish I said finally this is over.
It wasn’t. We then had to crawl, fire man carry, run, kneel down, jump up and do nasty hardship stuff for about 20 minutes.
At this point, there was no feeling of achievement or success or content, again there was only pain and more pain. It took so much effort taking a step forward, or blinking or breathing in. The tank was not empty it was rather rust, dry and worn out.
A note to the weak, when the world around you is beating you to the ground and hit you in the face with hardships than you never imagined, push through, don’t say a word, put one step in front of the other until you have proved to the world, which is simply your inner self, that you have defeated the mother trucker (PK).
Again it was the hardest weekend I ever witnessed so far having lived in this world for 32 years but it was worth it. One thing I got in return for all of this madness was, one of our leaders addressed us the next morning and while approaching us, said ‘Good morning Men’
It is not the certificates, education, medals or trophies that make your day or your life when you achieve something, sometimes it’s a simple phrase or a word that could mean the universe to someone.