To say I underestimated pretty much everything about this ridiculous adventure I’m on, would be something of an understatement. The heat, the distance, the terrain and the toll it would take on me physically and mentally has far surpassed anything I could have ever possibly imagined.
Where Do I Go From Here?
Add to that, the loneliness and the repetitiveness of doing the same mundane things each and every day. Foot maintenance, washing my clothes, backing up video footage, finding food, refilling my water bottle over and over. Sleep, wake, repeat, for another 30 miler in extreme heat.
"If you have nothing positive to say then don't say anything."
No one wants to hear me moaning about my blistered feet, my back, the extreme heat, the pollution, the list goes on…but I know I wouldn’t want to listen to the list of negativity. In fact, I’ve kind of bored myself with it already.
The journey may have engulfed my life but, the reality is for most of you, it’s just another thing that pops up on your Facebook feed. And, I don’t want my posts to be constantly adding a note of negativity to your day. I don’t want you to scroll past quickly because you’re bored with complaints from me. I want to inspire you to make changes to areas of your life that you’re not happy with.
Which leaves me caught between a rock and a hard place...
Because, the majority of the time, my days are as boring as hell and I have absolutely nothing positive to say. I find myself extremely negative, ratty, short-tempered and I know I'm no fun to be around. Trust me, I spend 24/7 in my own company and I do my own head in.
My health has become a serious issue
As I write this, I'm recovering from a severe virus, chest infection and problems with my kidneys. I’ll be honest, there was a point I didn’t think I was going to make it. In and out of consciousness, delirious and with a temperature that was off the scale. The medication I had wasn’t working and I had no way of getting medical help.
I can remember one moment extremely vividly and it's had such a profound effect on my outlook on life. It was about 1 am and I was at my worst. Shivering in a puddle of sweat, my temperature was through the roof and I hadn't been able to eat or sleep in a couple of days. My mind was playing tricks on me and I was seeing things. Not physical beings, but atom like flashes buzzing around the room, things crawling over my backpack and across the floor.
What I experienced over the next three or four hours was a truly life-changing experience, it's extremely personal to me and something that I'm not willing to discuss. All I will say is that I thought my time was up. And, the strange thing was, I was cool with that. It was as if I was no longer in my own body and I was looking on from afar. I was no longer me. I was in so much pain, I simply accepted the situation for what it was, potentially my last. I leant over to my backpack and reached for my passport and left it open on the emergency contact page.
"Sorry, Suzi", I said to myself. "I'm so very very sorry".
This was the point that I had an experience I am still trying to make sense of myself. A deeply profound experience that I couldn't even begin to try to explain. I'm still trying to process what happened and I am hoping that when I have the time I'll be able to do some deep work into the experience and gain a better understanding of what happened.
All I will say, is that my path in life changed from that very moment. I have made changes that I have implemented immediately and others that will come in time when the opportunity arises. Changes that are extremely personal and don't warrant a public explanation.
So where does that leave me and the adventure that still lies before me?
Everyone, and I mean everyone, has told me to head home. "Congrats for making it this far and all that, but your health and well-being is far more important". I get it. I really do. And, I’d probably be saying the same if I was sat at home looking in on this escapade.
But, what does that demonstrate to the people who are facing daily challenges and have been inspired by my journey so far? Give up when things get tough?
This journey was always personal. It made no sense on paper but, my objectives were clear - achieve the impossible, inspire and raise awareness for mental health and male suicide prevention.
There have been so many obstacles and challenges behind the scenes that have added to the pressures of this challenge. Again, adding to the list of negativity I promised not to moan about. And, ironically from people and companies that were supposed to supporting the cause. But, that’s a whole other story.
Yet, it’s for all these reasons that I’m determined to continue. To get to the finish line and really prove that you can do anything you put your mind to.
But, it has to be on my terms. I don't want to be on social media every day, it does my fucking head in. I don't want to be posting for posting sake. I am not travelling through picturesque villages, meeting nice people, or eating nice food. I'm walking along shitty highways because it's the quickest route to the finish line, the majority of people I'm meeting are constantly trying to scam me, and the food, for the best part, is shite. This isn't real India, this is highway living and, I suspect, the equivalent the world over would bare similar experiences
I naively had different plans for when I first started out. I overestimated my abilities, I realised that fact very quickly. I’ve been honest with myself, that simply finishing will be difficult enough. But, it’s not just about putting one foot in front of the other each day. I've put so much pressure on myself to appease others. I’m trying not to paint a negative picture of India, whilst inspiring people who are facing challenges in life, I’ve got an obligation to adhere to contractual agreements of the brands I'm working with, and capture footage for an awesome documentary. Oh, and of course, post really inspiring shit for social media. There’s a lot to do each day, and it’s no wonder I’m on an emotional rollercoaster.
The goal moving forward...
To finish. Plain and simple. Just finish the fucking task at hand. Get to that finish line, raise my hand and say 'I did it.' I walked across the entire length of India.
I appreciate all your support and messages. It really has made the bad days more bearable.