The Vest and the Philosopher

Maybe I should have brought my hiking poles…ugh, this is harder than I remember. I might just go back home, I thought. It was hard, but I didn’t go back home and next time I’ll remember to take my poles. Hiking wearing a 20kg weighted vest is harder than carrying a pack weighing 20kg because you can’t properly shift the weight off your shoulders with the vest, which means you pretty much have to suck the pain and discomfort up for the whole time you’re wearing the vest because you can’t easily get it off once it’s on.

“Hi!” I said to some fellow walkers at about the half way mark (7km). The girl said hi and the guy just kind of stared at me. Rude! I thought, but I forgot what I looked like. “What are you doing?” He exclaimed, “is that at weighted vest?”

“Yeah, it’s about 23kg in total.” (I had a small backpack too).

“You masochist!” He said.

Not long after that I decided I’d have to take the vest off to pee. I couldn’t initially work out how to do that and it wasn’t something I’d thought of when I left the house. Should I try and hang it over a sign? Should I try and get a tree branch through the back of it? Those ideas were baseline stupid and in the end I found a wooden seat in the dunes and with a fair amount of wriggling and swearing I was able to lay down on it and manoeuvre the contraption off me. There was even more swearing when I had to put it back on.

I was at Burrum Point campsite and instead of walking back via the loop I’d come on I decided to increase the distance and effort by walking back along the sand 4WD track to the bitumen and then home from there. I started philosophising about the nature of existence and the origins of life. It was a really interesting conversation, even if I only had the trees to talk to. I really thought I was by myself, but I wasn’t. I was closer to the walking track than I realised and a couple of hikers popped out to cross the 4WD track only about 20 metres away from me. “I’m not crazy!” I yelled out to them in what I thought must have been a reassuring voice. “I’m just having a conversation with myself, see, I do this all the time when I’m walking. I’m not crazy.” I felt it very important that they understand my position, but they kept walking and looked in the opposite direction. They should just think themselves lucky that I wasn’t singing, especially my wonderful rendition of What’s Up.

I must look like a total freak with that vest on. It’s huge and it looks like it could be full of bombs. On the road a car stopped and asked if I was ok. I told them I was wearing a weighted vest incase they thought I was a terrorist. “Are you trying to lose weight?” The man asked. I almost laughed at him because losing weight is the last thing I need to do. I’m actually attempting to gain weight by training with a weighed vest. At least they were nice enough to stop.

When I got home I was glad that I went out and walked a hard walk. It took me almost four hours (I faffed around a fair bit at the campsite) and I was pretty well cactus when I got home, but it was a good type of cactus (maybe peyote?). As usual I was amazed at how pushing myself physically makes me feel like I am the coolest person out there, well, at least the coolest person to ever carry a weighted vest to Burrum Point campsite.

All of this because I was too lazy to drag my hiking pack out and fill it with 20kg worth of stuff. This is what 20kg of hiking crap looks like:

Live a limitless life by way of adventure