Last week I attempted to walk the West Highland Way, again. And I failed again.
Around the mid point, well 52 miles in, I suffered an injury; a stress fracture in my right foot. It became too painful to continue. I was gutted.
After making the decision, I took my usual day to feel all the feels and then I got back up again. I switched this failure ( in terms of not completing the whole 96 miles) into a positive.
I walked along the byways and drovers roads and old railway tracks and had a great time being with nature. A week of forecast rain never materialised. The weather was bright and pleasant and welcome.
And the scenery was to die for. But I knew I couldn’t continue at the pace I was going. I had to weigh up the odds; continue to prove what? Or to stop and reduce further injury?
It also got to the point of no longer enjoying it. Because I was in pain and exhausted and feeling sorry for myself, I couldn’t enjoy the walking anymore. I couldn’t look up from the trail and breathe in the air and appreciate the view. My focus became the pain and how to get it to stop.
So I left the trail. Disappointed in myself but also proud of myself. I didn’t carry on seeking glory and jeopardising my body and the rest of my plans for the year and beyond. I took this hit of not reaching my goal in order to move through other goals easier or smoother.
I’ll not lie, I am upset about it. And had a funk about it. But at the same time, I appreciate the experience. I had such a lovely time waking up at the side of Loch Lomond with the last of the stars disappearing into a pinking sky over the glistening water. I felt blessed. And I still do feel this way to have had this opportunity of walking 52 miles from the lowlands to the Highlands of Scotland. Thank you.