Feeling it today!
Wind from the South again today meant I had more upwind kiting on offer.
I am taking extreme care with my hands - I was close to a serious frost-injury over the past few days. I've stripped the heating device I have in my boots (for the low temperatures on Dome Argus) then jammed it into the end of my primary mitt to heat my fingers - GAME CHANGER!
My goggles were fogging up all day, driving me mad. I managed to travel 48km basically blind! If you take note of the tracker I am getting pushed to the west, meaning unfortunately, I am being battered against the grain of Satrugi (parallel wave-like ridges in the ice, formed by the wind.) It's by far the most uncomfortable way to travel as the sleds are jerking back and forth as they get thrown around by the wind-lips behind. Once I get into crosswind or downwind kiting it'll be glorious - I can practically taste it!
Feeling pretty challenged emotionally today. I set camp feeling beaten, bruised and questioning my "why?" Night temperatures of -39C didn’t help lift the mood (although miraculously I slept well in my Marmot bag, down suit and tent booties, despite the coldest night yet!).
I awoke to the news that one of my adventure mates and expedition partners just lost her son in an adventure pursuit. This broke me more than any windchill, sastrugi or frostnip could. To be so far from loved ones and unable to provide my friend real support, knowing the pain she must be in, was excruciating. To think of losing one of our incredible kids. I wept. All the grief, all the brutality of the last 4 days came out. After speaking with Sarah she added perspective and soon my “why” was back.
Why? Because we must live the biggest versions of ourselves possible. We must stand for those who can’t stand right now. For the Women and Men suffering Breast Cancer or other ailments, we need more support (Breastcare Nurses) in our communities. We adventure and explore to encourage others to pick themselves up and venture forth. We push to see what is humanly possible, right at the edge of human endurance, to be an encouragement to those questioning whether they have what it takes. For those who are facing hardship, to inspire resilience.
I rang Mikey, my mate fighting stage 4 melanoma, he’s just had a disc collapse with secondary's throughout his tough body. He’s in his own fight, he gave me strength, and I hope I imparted some to him.
Today is an emotional day, but I'll put the iPod in, gospel rock and weep my way towards that bloody POI. Today I endure for so many, my beloved Christelle, her Lexi, Mikey - anyone who has been pushed by circumstance into a life and death fight, for those who want to curl up into a ball and hope it will all go away.
Today is for you.