Team 214 – The Wandering Weave
Oxfam Trailwalker, Sydney 2019
So there we were on the start line. We were actually here, we were actually doing this crazy thing.
The weather was perfect, the scenery stunning, the crowd buzzing and encouraging. We caught the bug and the excitement rose. We were off. Before we knew it, we were at the top of the first big hill, wildflowers, crisp morning air and spectacular views. Arriving at Check Point 1, we felt good. We were undeterred and ready to tackle the hardest stage of the walk.
We were actually doing it! It hadn’t become too hard, too complicated, too time consuming. We hadn’t given up when we lost a team member, when the flu struck, when the rains didn’t come. We had committed and here we were. Amazing! Walking through sandstone studded bush to Jerusalem Bay on that gloriously crisp winter’s morning, with the sun glistening on the water and buzz in the air, was worthy of celebration.
The Oxfam Trailwalk is not just a walk, it is a journey. A long one, much longer than 100kms. It is a team event, but the team is much greater than the 4 walkers. It is about raising awareness and raising funds, but only the tip of the enormous iceberg of work that is done in this arena is visible at the event. The Oxfam Trailwalk is personal, but it requires putting yourself out there, sharing your goals publicly with friends and strangers.
To be ‘trail ready’ requires 4-6 months of serious training. This is not just sweat and blisters; it is time, logistics and compromise. It is also the time and energy of those who come to the party, get onboard and help you make ‘this crazy idea’ possible. Long walks with friends, equals long chats, observations and immersion in our natural environment. It was a luxury and a privledge.
We walked for 20hrs. Something none of us had ever done before or even thought we would do. In the dark of the night, injury stole our finish line fanfare. The mood shifted and all we wanted was to be with those who had made it possible for us to be here. We pushed ourselves further than we had known we could. In the words of a very wise ‘wanderer’, “the only way out was through”. Endurance is not an event. We all have to find our own way through, whether you are enduring the realities of drought, family illness, grief or the suffering of poverty. Endurance is everywhere and you all deserve to be congratulated; to endure with a smile is a special quality indeed.
We finished our Trailwalk experience, stronger, fitter and better people for it. We raised enough money to positively change many lives and quite possibly changed our own. Maybe somewhere along the track, the lesson shifted from ‘dare to dream’ to ‘if at first you don’t succeed…..’.
Watch out Trailwalker we are trailwise now.
If you would like to know more about our journey to OxFam’s 20th Trailwalker Event, check out our team space and blog. You have until the 23rd September to make a difference by donating to help Oxfam achieve their awe inspiring work around the world.
Making it to the start line was worthy of celebration. We had signed up for this ‘walk’ with absolutely everyone including ourselves thinking that it was a totally crazy idea.
We ‘dared to dream’ that it would be possible for us to don lycra and line up on the start line with the ‘athelitic types’ and that we would actually be able to put in a pride inducing performance. Don’t you know that even the craziest of ideas can come off with a little team work, hard work and some serious commitment?
Feeling nervous, slightly underprepared but determined none-the-less.