That’s what the little voice inside my head said to me the other day: just keep going. The only trouble with that is that it kept saying it, over and over and by the time I didn’t want to “just keep going” anymore, it was too late to turn around, I really had no choice other than to just keep going.
I wanted to go for a walk. I didn’t plan on going for a huge walk. Maybe 12km at the most. I strapped on my 2kg ankle weights and my 1kg arm weights, filled up a 1.25L bottle of water and off I went through the national park on my way to the beach. I hadn’t been in there for ages, so I’d forgotten how dangerous it is: there are spiders everywhere. Big ones. With big fat abdomens. Horrible black legs. Dripping fangs. Sticky webs. Aaaarghhh!
I’d just settled into the rhythm of the walk and had forgotten that both my legs were carrying 2kg each. Admiring the bush all around me I started to relax and think nothing-type thoughts. Basically, I was having a fine ol’ time. Then I walked into a spider web. The world stopped and my heart jumped out of my chest. I let out a stupid yelp and began dancing around in a circle. I saw the thick guage of the web that was caught around the top of me and grabbed my hat and flung it to the ground. A giant black monster sat right on the bottom of the velcro tab; about a millimetre from where the back of my neck would have been when the hat was on my head. Still dancing, I yelped again when I saw it and had to force back tears. My mind said, “right, that’s it, let’s go back home.” Momentarily my brain, normally rational, agreed as I stood there in stunned horror at the now 7-legged beast ambling its way back towards the bush. “Oh my god, that’s so disgusting, Oh my god, oh my god” I said as I watched it go, still forcing back tears while attempting to get my heart back into the right place in my chest.
It was an effort, but I picked up my hat (I felt like the hat itself had become contaminated with spider-malice), put it back on and just kept going with an out-loud running commentary: “That was so disgusting. I can’t believe that happened. Please, no more spiders. I don’t want to walk into anymore webs. No more.” I saw a few more webs, some strung across the track at face height, most with giant black monsters sitting in the centre. All of them ready to attack. They didn’t make me want to cry, but at each siting I felt a tiny urge to vomit as I ducked under their embrace.
I wanted to go back home, but I knew that soon enough I would forget my near-death experience with the spider as long as I just kept going, so I did. By the time I got to Burrum Point Campsite, which is where I’d originally planned to start back towards home, I decided that I was invincible and that I should just keep going, so I did. It’s always the same with this type of scenario. I say to myself, “I’ll just go to the next bend.” Or, “I’ll just walk for 15 more minutes.” I need to pay more attention to thoughts that are prefaced with “I’ll just.” For example, “I’ll just walk over here, then I’ll just be dead because I just fell off a cliff because I just stayed out for 4 more hours than I planned and it just got dark so quickly that I just lost my footing and I just slipped to my death.” Well, that might be an exaggeration, but certainly not impossible given my history of doing almost that several times in the past.
Anyway, so I just kept going and 3.5 hours later I was still walking. I felt like I was never, ever going to get home! I ended up walking 18km, which is the furthest I’ve walked with my arm and ankle weights. I got a bit sick towards the end of the walk because I didn’t take enough water with me and I got a bit of heat stress. I had to go to bed early. I felt like I had a hangover. What an idiot! Still, I saw it as an adventure because I wasn’t entirely sure what would happen when I left the house. I was able to overcome the spider incident and keep walking for 18km until I got back home even though I got a bit sick in the last 3km.
I get scared of a few things when it comes to adventure. Spiders are certainly one of them. Sharks too, but that’s ok because if I just keep going in spite of the things that scare me I can have an amazing an exciting life because adventure isn’t about not being scared, it’s about being scared, but doing it anyway because:
If you just keep going, you can do anything