Feeling a bit… well… weird! Usually before a long distance trek, I will be worrying about this obstacle and that track and will the horses stay in the Corral over night etc etc Worrying about… well every little detail really.
Yes I admit it, I can be somewhat of a control freak and want things to go just right!
It’s only 2 days to go, and I don’t feel like this, this time. I just feel excited and can’t wait to get started… so why?
1) Is it because there are just too many little details to worry over on this trip and I can’t keep them all in my head, so I will just have to deal with them one at a time?
2) Is it because suddenly this thing went so public due to being nagged to raise money for something / anything and then I chose a popular charity (on facebook anyway)? I therefore feel that failing isn’t an option as so many people are watching?
3) Is it because of point 2) –I feel so supported, so many kind offers and donations with so many people wishing they could come with me, so many people wishing me well, many bigging me up by telling me how brave I am (chuckle)?
4) Is it because this time, I haven’t taken anyone’s word for what trails are passable with horses and have actually been out there and checked 95% of the route first hand. i.e. is it because I feel so well prepared?
5) Is it because due to a certain event a couple of months ago that seemed to fly passed so quickly (some of you will know what that was but not going to elaborate here), I am determined not to let this fly passed and I want to enjoy it rather than as I usually do -chase to the finish line. Wish me luck with this one, it’s something I always struggle with!
6) Is it because in the first 3 days of the trek I will be staying with some very kind people who I hadn’t met before my reccy, and they have opened their homes to me and made me feel so welcome that I can’t wait to spend the evenings with them? This has definitely helped me to not worry about the hard 3rd day to come.
7) Is it because I feel like I’ve been there, done it and got the T-shirt with all my previous long distance treks? I’ve certainly ironed out a lot of small problems with kit, logistics, handling the horses, obstacle negotiation etc BUT this is still the longest one I’ve done so far.
On my last trek which had a big remote day in it that I knew would be really hard, I fretted for days and the night before could not eat a thing. I just felt sick. Not worrying about me, so much as worrying about the horses and what I am asking them to do for me. I was right to worry then, as it was a hellish day and I nearly lost both horses over a cliff (that as they say is another story).
We all survived that particular experience and I learnt a hell of a lot, so will not get myself into that kind of situation again… but I am still asking a lot of my horses this trip. So… although I feel excitement rather than nerves this time, I also feel a little guilt… about whether it is right to put my horses through this just for my ambition.
Yes they will enjoy it, yes it will be good for them mentally and physically, yes they will be well cared for and yes if I don’t think they can make it I will pull the plug immediately and not just push on for my sake. BUT… there is that niggling doubt about the what if’s… the things that may go wrong that could put my horses in danger… its not the kind of nerves I’ve experienced before but there is still a little bit of (healthy?) worry in there!