Walking is magical! It is a free tonic for what ails you. I have walked through grief, depression, feeling lonely and lost. I have walked when I am happy, laughing with friends. Yesterday, I walked for a little boy called Archie. I met his beautiful mother at a kid’s party a while back, and adored her on site. I had never entered City 2 Surf before, although it was on my list of things to accomplish. When I saw that this mum was raising money for Bear Cottage, I had the incentive I needed.
We caught a hire bus from our town with the most wondrous group of people. Before we knew it, we were in the city, ready to go!
My daughter and I paced ourselves, after I realized that 14km is a long way, and it would be best not to peak in the first hour! We didn’t want to show anyone up! I was silly on heavy painkillers and had my trusty TENS machine stuck to my back. It was a thrill to walk the city streets and go through tunnels without the interference of cars. People took their jackets off and they were in piles, of which the homeless could look through for one their size. Sydney isn’t a cold metropolis; this was shown through many kindnesses I witnessed. Encouraging strangers and helping those who were struggling. We stopped to chat to enterprising kids on their lemonade stands and made a sneaky detour to a service station for chocolate!
Heartbreak Hill came into view, and my daughter chose to cartwheel through a large portion of it! When you started to slow, there were bands playing awesome music to get you back into the swing of it! Archie was never far from our thoughts, an angelic little boy with an infectious smile and chubby cheeks. He and his family had spent a lot of time at Bear Cottage, and they wanted to raise money for them, whilst paying tribute to their little boy.
We met so many amazing people, and the people of Sydney felt like a big family, rather than a large group of strangers. When we saw the finishing line, we squealed and hugged each other. It’s funny how you can cope with such a big walk, but when you cross the finish line, your legs feel like jelly! We stumbled into the Bandaged Bear tent, where we were fed and given refreshments. We met up with the rest of the team, and found that Archie’s mum had injured her leg. She was being so brave, in spite of the pain. She has a long history of being brave.
It was an amazing experience, to be part of a team of beautiful people, and to finish what we started. “You can do anything!” I whispered to my daughter, “this proves it!” We had a bath filled with Epsom salts, and lit a candle for Archie last night. I am sure he carried everyone through. Donations are still open for a few weeks. If you would like to make a donation to Bear Cottage, you can do so here.