Dunedin, New Zealand, my city - my people

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The pain that thrills.

The track that keeps going up.

Grahams Bush completed... About to begin the Organ Pipe track.
A welcome cup of tea at the Cairn on the summit of "my" mountain.

I am lying on my bed with sore feet, muscles on the verge of cramping, aching knees and tender hips. (It reminds me of half marathon days) But I am wrapped! During September at least my Sunday afternoon walks are alone so I am able to extend my distance and choose different places. Today I went up "my" Mount Cargill, but instead of driving up to the Organ Pipe track as I would normally do, I walked up the Graham's Bush track from Sawyers Bay then joined my familiar Organ Pipe Track to the top. Mt Cargill is 676 Metres High. I think I ascended up 650 Metres from where I started at near sea level. I had been up the Grahams Bush track a few times years ago. I recall taking my dog up once and at a certain point at the foot of yet another set of stairs he sat down and needed to be goaded into continuing. I had forgotten how steep it was. There is a heap of zig zags leading up to the top of the track. (at around 300 Metres)  Today when I reached the top of the Grahams bush track I was sweating profusely and my legs just wanted to stop.  I nearly decided to turn back then, but gritted my teeth and embarked on the steep first part to the Organ Pipe track. I pushed myself to keep going, talking to myself to help motivate me. The easy sloping parts I could handle, but the steep steps that you encounter from time to time took all my discipline to keep going. With a sigh of relief I climbed to the top and dug in my bag to pull out refreshments. I had made a cup of tea in a thermos so felt quite decadent sitting drinking tea in the sun with dramatic views all around. Up and down took me 3 hours 40 minutes. (A walking guide suggests 3hrs return for just the Grahams Bush track so I did well to do both in that time) I really pushed myself to be completed by dark. It is strange how when you extend yourself and need to draw on inner reserves just to keep going, there is something exhilarating about it. You are in pain but you know you have done well. You have been in your own personal battle, and you have won. Life feels good. 

About half way up the Organ Pipe track I met some young adults coming down. I must have looked shot, sweating profusely and probably red faced. A young woman patronisingly said to me, "Not long to go now, keep going." I wanted to yell "Yes there is a long way to go, stop telling lies." More than that and I felt like I wanted to justify my appearance by telling her that I had walked all the way from Sawyers Bay.. not just from where they had parked their car. I did not get the opportunity but I got to thinking about that. In life we meet people and sometimes judge them harshly. But we really don't know where they have come from. If we knew their journey in life we might understand better their reactions.
Tomorrow's day off
I have to purchase a new battery for my van. All my tests suggest the battery is not putting out the correct voltage. I had hoped to postpone buying a new one until winter next year. I also have an appointment at the hospital with the "Continence Clinic". It sounds like I am an old man peeing my pants. It has to do with my plumbing system and is a routine check up. It is embarrassing though, my pride will take a hit. Some medical woman will be asking personal and intimate questions. After that I think I will be clearing a drain for a friend. 

My personal assessment is that I did a good imaginative job leading this morning's worship. I have enjoyed extending myself physically this afternoon. I think I will sleep well tonight.

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