Friday, 20 November 2009

Full Metal Jacket

So its day 19 and I er... still haven't started my diary. This is due to the fact that i am unable to put into words the experience I’m having and to be honest, my eyes, ears and thighs have memories etched into them I’m never going to forget. I didn't realize Vietnam was this beautiful and my thighs didn't realize Vietnam was this high! Nevertheless, I am now finding myself relishing uphill in front of me which tells me i am either stronger or stupid. Long are the days when i was worried about going on the Duke of Edinburgh award treks because I thought I’d get blisters.

So this last week has been awesome. Ok, i would not have said that at 11am on Wednesday morning whilst scaling a 20km mountain, I say it now because this week is what I signed up for and a lot of people in the team would agree. I knew I was capable but mentally we have been pushed this week. James is took pushing to the extremes the other day by cycling up a mountain, then a third of the way down again to shout at people in full metal jacket-esque style. Nothing to do with people struggling, but because he can.

Like James, I too have had a spiritual experience this week. I honestly shouted out 'Jesus you have deserted me' and 2 minutes later I suddenly had a Zen like calm descend upon me and my breathing became even and my thighs had the energy of a thunder god. Well sort of. I rocked up the last part of the mountain and wizzed into town to yelling I’d 'found Jesus!' then Chet and James proceeded to smack my thighs with much aggression. Wednesday was, as people have described, tough. In one day we had cold, rain, heat and sun. As i reached about 10km up the mountain I had to pay the price for having only a t-shirt on. I found myself standing shivering in a pair of lyrca shorts and a sports bra as the exchange between t-shirt and long sleeve top happened. For the next 30 minutes i remembered all those freezing cold mornings on the river in Canterbury shouting at four rowers in a boat toiling away while i sat in nine layers. Those thoughts got me up the mountain and it turned out to be my most satisfying rides yet.

Today was less torturous and we were able to take it easy. Mainly because Sam got three punctures in the space of 47km which allowed Katie, Hills and I to dance on the roadside while Bac worked his magic. We also indulged in a bit of a fashion show for the locals. I found myself on lying on the road in stitches as Hills and Sam stood with their shorts pulled up to god knows where and pranced around like tweedle dum and tweedle dee. I looked just as bad.

So... off to get some dinner now with the others and pack in some carbs for tomorrow's hills...


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