At 707 am this morning my team The Patsy Declines crossed the Coastrek finish line after walking for 50km over 13 hours in the dark and through the rain. It was an amazing night. No, I’m not still delirious although there are parts of my body that no longer feel like they are attached – my toes are the first that come to mind. Or where my toes used to be, should I say? Oh sure they may still physically be there but they look like little raw sausages and all normal feeling has since left the building. Clearly 50km of walking has sent my feet into shock.
The other shock was how much I loved being in the team. Yes, me the individual operator, the lone rider, the ‘no me in team’ person got sucked in to the team theme and let me just say that our team rocked. I’m not saying that because I was in the team, and so of course it would have to be a great team right? So not right, in fact if the truth were to be told I was easily the weakest link in our team.
Our team rocked because we stayed together as a cohesive unit for the entire distance and came out of it the same great mates as we were when we started. The same we found, could not be said for a lot of the other teams that trekked through the night next to us. These were the teams with the matching designer pink safety vests, full face of make-up and a family of supporters in tow. For them the start was all fun and games – happy snaps were taken and calorie laden energy bars scoffed, a jazz band played and the mood was light.
For our team the mood was nervous with an undercurrent of fear – our longest training walk had been 14km shorter than the distance required for the night and we certainly weren’t as bubbly as the other, obviously seasoned entrants. If the looks on our faces didn’t give away our newness then the comments by our chirpy co-walkers did, “Good for you! Have you just completed the first 50km?” was the question I received from full face make up lady in hot pink as I leaned on my walking poles stretching. When I replied that I hadn’t even started yet she laughed and said, “Oh but you look so exhausted!”
As the kilometres passed under our feet our team laughed as we told embarrassing stories (what happens on the walk stays on the walk kind of stories) and supported each other when our muscles threatened to go on strike and some of us lagged behind. We walked next to or within a few metres of each other for 13 hours and never once had a bad word or angry moment – ok well maybe I had one- but that’s what I mean about being the weakest link. Our team stayed strong and supported each other while the bubbly seasoned walkers split into small groups of two or lone walkers and griped about having to wait for their weaker team members who could no longer be referred to as mates.
When our team finished we were together as close as when we started and as we enjoyed a beer we saw full face make up’s team walk in one by one their happy start mood long gone along with their camaraderie – lost somewhere along the way. Last night we proved that as predicted we were indeed ready and our great friendship provided all of the opportunity needed for our fantastic outcome. Our faces may not have been fancy but we know for sure that our friendship is not just made up. Thanks ladies, it was an honour to be on your team – our team.
Turns out there is a me in team after all.