When the Going Gets Tough (Go and Get Stuffed)*
My legs were heavy, my lungs were bursting, and my brain was trying to tell me I couldn’t do it. I felt like I was walking on the spot (or worse: backwards) – instead of each step propelling me forwards.
This was Heartbreak Hill. We had been warned about this hill, but after a tough morning, where the hot February sun beat down on my back, and my overloaded pack dug deep into my shoulders, I wasn’t sure I could do it.
After crossing the Snowy River, where the flowing water underfoot made me nervous about my footing, we stopped at an idyllic spot of green grass for a rest. I removed my pack, took a painkiller to help with the intense pain across my shoulders and back, and lay down in the sunshine. I closed my eyes and took stock of how far we’d come already. We were on Day Two of a Three Day hike across the highest point of Australia – Mt Kosciuszko Main Range. It had been an incredible two days, and I was exhausted. But it was now time for the hill we’d been warned about – Heartbreak Hill. The nervous laughs as they told us of their experience of it said all we needed to know…
But I could do it. I had to do it. There was no other way there. There was the first toilet we’d seen in two days (those who’ve been without a toilet for two days will get it). There was the straight section of trail that would take us to our camping spot for the night (see photo above). Getting there wasn’t a choice.
So I dug deep. I went to the internal depths of my mind, and had a little chat with myself. You can do this. You’ve got this. You have dealt with worse (and come out alive). You can do this.
I reminded myself that with each step forward I was closer to the top. I was closer to the end of this heartbreakingly almost vertical climb. I was closer to that toilet and that campsite. I went slow. I took it a step at a time.
And I got there. It felt good.
To see our awesome camping spot for the night, check out this video. I think you’ll agree it was worth the effort!
* Misheard song lyrics from ‘When the Going Gets Tough’ – Billy Ocean
Bio: Sam is a daydreamer, storyteller, and hiker. She loves getting outside, and you’ll often find her on the bushwalking trails close to her hometown of Geelong. You can follow along with her on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. If you have any questions that she can help with, or would like to chat about possible sponsored opportunities, advertising, or affiliations (that will benefit her audience) please drop her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.