On Monday I shared how I was a moody Moonwalker. In the final post I share if we made it and if I would ever try to Moonwalk again…
Hiding in Hyde Park
When we arrived at Hyde Park several of the group decided to take refuge behind a bush and wee. As this was not an option I said that I was going to push forward to the next set of toilets. I walked hard and fast with my head down and focused on getting to a toilet and tried to ignore my surroundings. I cried all the way there. Big, pathetic, feeling sorry for myself tears. I gave myself a good talking to and told myself to sort myself out. I was so busy giving myself a talking to and a pity party that I somehow completely missed Buckingham Palace. I was getting desperate now and cried on a volunteer. When I asked her where the toilet was and she told me that a lot of people were going behind bushes I don’t think she expected me to almost stamp my feet and cry;
” But I can’t go behind a bush as I am bleeding. I didn’t sign up for a bush trucker trial. Give me a portable toilet!”
“Erm, gosh. No, of course. They are just down there”
“About a mile”
“Are you lying to me?”
“Thank you. I love you”
I nearly ran that mile.
I found saviour in a portable toilet
For a moment I was worried that I was hallucinating. Were these portable toilets real? They were. I waited for at least 20 minutes. It was still so near but yet so far. I was worried that I might have an accident. An accident was looking very likely. I told myself that if a little bit of wee escaped that it was nothing to be ashamed of and actually it would warm me up. Luckily, I made it in the portable toilet just in time. My period had started. I contemplated stuffing paper down there but realised that would do little so with no plan b I decided I would just have to continue. The relief that I hadn’t wet myself had made me euphoric and I came out of that toilet with the biggest smile on my face.
This is hell
Walking the Moonwalk was far harder than any of us had anticipated and everyone in our team was dealing with something. Mile 16 onwards was tough. I fell back for a bit, several times, so I could have a pity cry, followed by good talking to, followed by a reminder of why we were doing this. How this walk was nothing compared to what so many people have to endure. The fast bit of power walking in pursuit of a portaloo had made my injured foot unhappy and now I could feel it hurting and swelling. I was desperate to loosen the laces but feared that would not be a good idea. So we continued. There was more singing and I gave more murderous looks. We went by drunks passed out in their own vomit, we saw wonderful volunteers trying to raise our spirits, we saw pretty houses and expensive cars and we were still walking. It was around mile 19 that Lou declared this to be
“the worst night of my life”.
We nodded and agreed.
Hot chocolate I think I love you
At mile 20 we were greeted by the most glorious sight. Tents serving hot drinks and portaloos. We took another toilet break and gulped down hot chocolate. It briefly restored us and for a good couple of miles all was right in the world again. Then it got tough again. Those last 6.2 miles are through streets. There is nothing spectacular to see. By now London was waking up, we were dealing with rain and it was no longer darkness. Yet, we were still walking. Those last 6 miles felt the hardest and the longest. I had stomach cramps, my injured foot was sore, my left leg was sore and my hips were screaming. We had been walking for hours on unforgiving pavements and now our bodies were paying the price. It was here that I announced
“there is no way I am ever doing the island walk. I am never walking like this ever AGAIN”.
We all decided that this was not fun. That it was hell. We continued trudging forward. Ignoring the walkers that had stopped for cake and coffee. We passed walkers that were crying and walkers that were giving up. We passed them all and kept going. This was also when I started using the F-bomb like it was punctuation. My interior monologue was going something like –
” How much further F^ck! Why am I doing this F^ck! I could be at home F^ck! Get a grip Emma F^ck! Oh F^ckity f^ck f^^^^^^^ck. This is the hardest f^cking thing I have f^cking done”
I can see Clapham
Just as I was seriously starting to lose the plot and was wondering if this was some bizarre Matrix or Groundhog Day we saw the signs for Clapham and I nearly wept (again). We carried on. At this point I realised that all of the fingers on my right hand had swelled up. I now was a walking sausage with sausage fingers. I had lost all feeling in that hand. I DIDN’T CARE BECAUSE I COULD SEE CLAPHAM. I have never been so happy to see Clapham in all of my life.
The finish line
Crossing that finish line I expected to feel euphoria. I didn’t. I just felt shattered. I just wanted to lay down. I did do that. I then realised that I couldn’t find my ticket to prove that I had finished. I later located it at the bag drop and the lady kindly said she would give it in for me. There was no way I could walk back over the field to give it in.
I was so exhausted that I didn’t feel elated and I didn’t feel on top of the world. I was just desperate to get home. I waddled onto a train to Victoria, cried when I had to stand-up again, waddled onto a train to Gatwick, cried when I had to get up again. Waddled to security, cried when my bag was pulled over for a security inspection. Waddled to Jamie’s Italian and ordered a cheese croissant. I then gave murderous looks to a group of people who were hogging a table but had no food. I then hobbled to the bar where I made a beer last two hours and I talked at people so I wouldn’t fall asleep. I then hobbled to the seats in Gatwick fell asleep and woke-up and cried when I realised my plane had been delayed. I then hobbled down to security, fell asleep again. Hobbled onto the plane, cried again when the pilot announced that there was another delay. Slept the whole way back to Jersey, hobbled off the plane, met my family and cried again at the sheer relief of being home again. I then had the best bath of my life. Mr C had kindly cleaned the house and put clean bedsheets on the bed. I have never loved that man more. He made me dinner; steak, mash and salad. I could only manage the mash before I fell asleep again.
I came away thinking that I would rather sell a kidney than do that again. However, I am typing this two days later and now I am thinking that I would do it again. Yes it was torture. Yes it nearly broke me (mentally). Yes it actually broke Lou (physically). She is now on crutches for a week because she did so much damage walking on her sprained foot! Yes at times I felt like quitting. BUT it’s supposed to be hard, it’s supposed to be a challenge and we are lucky in that we are able to attempt these challenges. There were so many low points, but there were some high points too. Admittedly they involved me being to able to sit on a portaloo.
Yes I would do it again. Maybe. Let me get back to you on that one 😉