Sometimes you have to admit defeat for the greater good

We went away at the weekend to visit a friend I’ve known for 13 years (wow, that’s a long time!) I felt really good on the Saturday afternoon and evening, even after a 2 hour adventure in some woods where we ended up scrambling up a hill to reach the path. Then later we were attempting to find one of several bridges to cross back over the river. For at least 30 minutes we searched as the path became muddier with more fallen trees blocking our way (as a couple had forewarned us earlier) and then became a bog. That was when we really went off piste. My friend even pushed through a dense area of bamboo to try to see what was on the other side. We admitted defeat when we had 45 minutes left until the car park closed, it had started to spit and we had no real idea where we were. So we turned back, turning the wrong way a few times because we had tried several routes during our earlier search. We returned to the ‘main’ path parallel to the river and started to assess the robustness and suitability of the trees that had fallen across the river. We found one! I must add that I don’t like heights and although climbing across a tree that isn’t too high above a river which itself is pretty shallow and more like a wide stream due to dry weather, I was slightly apprehensive. Add to this my lack of balance and you can imagine a big ‘plop’ and grumblings of pain as I fall in.

I have a secret. I’ve never climbed a tree.

Yes there were opportunities,  such as the times when we were teenagers and were playing some ball sport in the garden with friends and the ball went over the garden fence and into the disused railway line that ran behind our house. A friend would always jump up to grab and branch and swing themselves up and over the fence using the tree to help. Like a true acrobat.

Back to Saturday’s adventure.

We found one though that had branches in suitable places to use as holds. I got to the other side dry and happy. We all did. Now I can say I’ve climbed a tree…just horizontally. It’s going to count in my book anyway whatever anyone else says! It was a much better experience than clambering over the many that had fallen due to a landslide in Madagascar two years ago. That was horrible, with a bigger drop, quite a few students watching and no handholds, unless you counted our expedition leader who was helping us jump down. Then we had to go back the other way. I hated it and managed to get a massive bruise on my right upper arm and right side in my haste to get onto the ground.

I digress again. So we found the proper path and returned to the car with 10 minutes to spare. Phew. Despite the 2 hour trek I felt pretty good. Maybe it was the fresh air. Or perhaps the ice cream we ate afterwards! Yum.

Anyway I went to bed late, at 11pm. I paid for it all the next day though.

The next day

I woke up early and couldn’t get back to sleep so I lay in bed for an hour before getting up to read in the living room. That’s how I’ve changed. Before I would have gotten up straight away. Now I just can’t be bothered to expand the extra energy, at least for a while!

I felt pretty groggy and was a 6 on my scale. We went for a 4 mile walk in the rain. The rain wasn’t too bad. The most energy-zapping part was putting one foot in front of the other; I didn’t say much. We got to a steep bit leading to a gate with clear indications of others having slipped down as their boot couldn’t quite grip. I pushed through. Pushed against a brick wall and managed to get to the gate. There was no burst of energy that helped propel me up that short, very steep incline like there would have been pre-illness. No, just that feeling of going against a brick wall with nothing left to give. If you’ve ever done some form of long distance race like a half marathon or further, you’ll know what I mean.

Then we came to another downhill slope. I mentioned part way down how I found the last hill. My friend said that we would be walking back this way as there was a beach at the bottom and no alternative path….would I like to go back?

I told them to continue and I’ll wait. We were in a wooden area with a bank either side and some rocks. One such rock was well suited as a seat so I sat and waited.

A lovely peaceful place to rest

For the greater good

I realised that this was a moment of acceptance. I wouldn’t be able to see that beach because if I did I would really struggle to climb that steep incline. I could have tried but that would have resulted in me flat lining afterwards and we still had to return to the car. Then eat. Then drive home. No. I needed to rest and it wouldn’t benefit anyone if I struggled on in stubbornness. I just had to hope my husband took a photo.

He didn’t take a photo. Ah well, I’ve seen many a beach in my time and lived right next to one waking up every day to an ever-changing view and falling asleep to the sound of the surf crashing on the sand below.

So perhaps I overdid it Saturday? Yes, definitely but I felt ok and tried to rest. Perhaps I didn’t eat as well as I should have? Yes again. We ate a lot of protein but we also ate other foods that perhaps were not the correct fuel for my body, i.e. too many carbohydrates and too much saturated fat.

I don’t mind though because I would much rather that than not to have spent the weekend catching up with my friend.

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