5 Life Lessons from my First Trek.

RULE(1)My name is Jack, and just thinking about strenuous physical activity makes me sore.

A few months ago the thought of trekking 45kms, over 3 days, up and down undulating terrain, in the rain, with a 20kg pack was something that would never have crossed my mind, or been included on the list of things that I would ever want to do.

Now laying on my bed, 2 days later with my legs still throbbing, I think to myself the same thing, I cant believe I have so many more to go, and I also wish I trained for that bloody walk. The Nike slogan “Just Do It” pushed me up the hills as did the Free Runs I decided to trek in. That’s right who needs hiking boots when your going to look “fresh as fuck” in your Nikes?

There are a few things that I have taken away from the experience, and Tats asked me, “What did I learn from putting myself into a situation as far out of my comfort zone as possible?” A few things come to mind and I think they will stay with me for a long time.

1. Chafe.

A wise man once (Tats, one of the 2 people I had human contact with during the 3 day trek) told me that there are 3 rules of Chafe:

  • Rule number 1: If you think you are, you are!
  • Rule number 2: Remove the offending item, immediately!
  • Rule number 3: Apply cream or lotion and proceed with caution.

Life lesson… Prevention is better than a cure, apply a barrier next time, and you can save yourself a lot of discomfort.

2. Goals.

Every win is a win no matter how small!

Goal setting is very important; at the start of the trek, my goal was to finish and get some really cool pictures for my Instagram. After an hour into the first day I knew I would need a lot more if my mind were going to keep telling my legs to move. At some points every step is a goal and every meter was an achievement. But nonetheless, I learnt to set myself goals, weather it be making the top of the next hill, the next distance marker, or not crying.

3. Treat Yourself!

Give Credit when credit is due.

Goals will keep your head screwed on, but goals are not achieved without reward. Treat yourself in a way that suits you; have a durrie, sit down – these are two of my favorites. I never realized how good sitting down was until I walked 17kms in one day; the way the blood rushes to different parts of you legs and the overwhelming tingling sensation, there are not many better feelings, I have to say. I think we all deserve a good sit ever now and then.

4. Try New Things.

It’s not that bad when you surround yourself with good people!

Humans love sitting; we invented cars, bikes, buses, planes and soon hopefully teleportation devices, they all have one very specific reason… To provide transportation that doesn’t involve walking! I love it, I bloody love science! I’m thankful we live in an era where we can get places real quick, in the luxury of our very own seat, what more could you want?

The idea of trekking, or co-founding a charity for that matter, had never really crossed my mind, always having put stuff like that in the too hard basket. While I was walking, I realized that I don’t have a two hard basket, I was seamlessly kicking goals and I didn’t even know until later reflection. Now laying down with sore legs and a sun burnt nose, I put that down to the people I surround myself with.

Tats has been my best mate for 5 years, we have, over this time slowly transformed, from seeing if we can finish two Goon-Bags together, to seeing if we can raise $85,000 together. Both two hard tasks, but when you are around good people, that inspire you to be the best you can be, weather it be to down the last cup or conquer the last hill, you can do anything. Your support network is key and if they are there to help, there is no knowing the limits of your ability, for something that a different Jack would have said, “Na, too hard”, is now barely a 3 day walk in the (Blue Mountains National) park.

5. The Bigger the Plastic Bag the Better!

Go big, the bigger the plastic bag the better, you can always use this plastic bag in other ways and make it smaller. But going into any situation, and underestimating the size of things like skills, memories, personal achievements, sticks, rock, jokes you will collect and only having a small bag won’t allow you to get the best out of every situation, because some things will just simply not fit in your bag. Go big, aim big, because a bag half full is better than a bag that couldn’t hold all the stuff you gained along the way and now has heaps of stick holes, a broken handle and is useless.

Thank you for reading this, I hope you do decide to get some mates, family together and go for a trek, you will surprise yourself with your ability.

Keep Trekking.

Love Jack x