I’m scared. Terrified. Apprehensive. But also excited. Pumped. And Intrigued.
I’ve been back-tracking this last month, thinking about why I signed up to this outrageous journey in the first place.
Who in their right-mind wants to continuously walk for not only one but two whole months, through a desert which happens to be one of the largest in this big wide world? Who would consciously agree to face thrashing sandstorms and daily 30 degree temperature changes?
Who chooses to acquire a plethora of foot injuries and be scared stiff by potential attacks of wild dogs? And all with a bunch of twelve other clearly deranged, thrill-seeking strangers?
But this adventure is going to be very different from others (apart from the obvious remote, desert, unknown, who-do-you-think-you-are crazy factors). Because it will no longer be with my dearly beloved, Todd (or Toddrick as I like to tease for having a short name that’s not actually short for his name).
I’ll be on my own. All alone. Ok, I’m exaggerating, there will be other people around. But when we initially thought it would be good to do our own solo trips, two long, lonely months certainly didn’t come to mind. And now there will be no one who knows me, no one who will hold my hand, and no one who can snap me out of my sugar-induced mood swings.
But that’s half the reason why I’ve decided to continue on my own. I don’t want to be hand-held, pampered, told what to do, or given all the answers. I’m empowered by the thought of independence, sole reliance, my own determination and expanding my comfort zone pants. And just imagine how fit I’m going to be afterwards! Muay Thai would be easy peasy.
And then comes the shock… I’ve been gobbling down alfajores (melting moment-type biscuits) and sampling the many, many varieties of decadent helado (ice-cream) just because there are so many in Argentina. Cookies and cream, Ferrero Rocher, Creme Marscapone, Menta Granizado, Chocolate Suise, Coconut, and that’s just three days worth. How in helado hell do you think I’m going to stand up to these abs??
Considering one of my best party tricks is the ability to look like I have a pregnant belly, I’ve decided not to show a comparison of my mediocre 1-pack. As punishment for the daily disneyland-for-my-taste-buds degustation when living in Buenos Aires for a month, I planned a beat-down at Push BodyStudio last week with my bad-girl Gobi team mate, Carrie (see abs above) and our Gobi 2011 Nutrition & Fitness Advisor, Tina (see abs below).
As the coming workout video will show, I was able to pull off most of the exercises with a smile. Because as most people know who have pushed themselves physically to the limit before (and what I stupidly forgot at the time), is that the real pain comes after… Not only is it a struggle to get out of bed the morning after, but I nearly steam-rolled Carrie’s dog when I attempted to bum-slide down the stairs. Walking down them like a normal person seemed like an activity beyond my comprehension without being morphine-induced. And then, after breakfast when I was trying to block out thoughts of my impending doom, we headed back to the gym for Round 2.
A few good sleeps later and I am recovered, at least physically. But there’s a hard, painful, treat-less road ahead. Not only in terms of getting freakishly fit so I’m not the Gobi tortoise, but doing so in a foreign country without the ease and comforts of home. And also not losing everything I’ve done thus far on a crazy, 2-week Indian train journey (I am preparing myself for more warranted stares than usual when I start doing girl-push-ups in the aisle).
I know I’ll get there eventually. All I need is a constant reminder of all the positives that will come out of this challenge at the end:
- taking those last few steps of the 60-day trek;
- creating some ‘through thick and thin’ friendships;
- experiencing the raw lives and kindness of nomadic families;
- developing my writing skills (epiphany: should I try to write a blog post every day?);
- raising money and awareness for Mongolian children and their education;
- building up more independence;
- and having hardcore adventurer/desert-crosser gloating rights; just to name a few.
Looking forward to meeting and exploring you, as well as being taught a few lessons (more physical than spiritual I think).
Featured image by Emmanuel Berthier