A week after Trailwalker and I’m happy to report that I have retained three of my remaining five toenails! My only flesh and blood foot, which is obviously very precious to me, is still something of a mess. Not only am I two toenails short of a set but the various blisters that I suffered during the walk were as bad as I had feared they would be at the time. To finish the 100km I bandaged my foot as best as possible and kept going with teeth gritted against the pain. After finishing it took some time to pluck up the courage to soak the bandages off my foot – disappointingly it felt worse than it looked!
Getting around this week has subsequently been somewhat difficult. In the first days following the finish I tried to spare my poorly foot using crutches but found weight bearing via only a single prosthesis and walking aids to be very difficult. Keeping any coverings off my foot, except when absolutely essential, led to the relatively rapid drying-out and hardening of the soft layers of skin revealed by my wounds. I’m now able to put a shoe on very carefully and look forward to the return of my toenails!
Despite my tales of woe I have no regrets about pushing through to the end of Trailwalker – I’m very proud of myself and our team. When setting out on the majority of our adventures I am usually confident that I can complete the challenges ahead. After last year’s Trailwalker failure and my less than ideal preparation this year, I was far from certain that I would be celebrating at the finish. Stage by stage we pushed through the event and, by the time the sun rose on the second day, I was feeling weary but confident that I had sufficient endurance to finish. If it hadn’t been for the pain of my blistered foot I would have been positively chipper!
Crossing the line in a shade under twenty-six hours was an emotional moment. We’d done it at the second time of asking – 100km without significant pause – not bad for a person with one leg! Prior to ITAP, attempting a challenge of this magnitude would have been unthinkable for me. Next time we take part in Trailwalker we’ll be aiming to get under 24 hours!
I’d like to thank all the generous people that contributed to the fundraising effort that enabled us to take part. Not only did you contribute to two worthy causes (Oxfam and the GWT), you added to our much needed motivation to finish. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t heap as much praise as possible on our support team; Charmaine and Moe. Without you we certainly wouldn’t have finished and any walking we may have completed would have been far less enjoyable!