Boxing Day Test, Double Century

So many times in life our valleys, low moments, periods of life that we loathed at the time, when we look back, actually created the grit or character we need to prevail in the present.

Today was a day that I needed to call on all my substance created by trials and hardships from former years.

The two recognised issues with my route home were the “dead zones” or ridges with little or no wind. One at the base of Dome Argus, with this one I had a miraculous escape and crossed the 200 km area in just 2 days. The second is the ridge extending from Valkyrie Dome northeastward. Celene, my wind goddess, predicted two days of terrific wind, today and tomorrow. So I set myself the goal of repeating the Argus miracle and blasting past Valkyrie dome in just 2 days, 380 km.

This is a fine goal on billiard table smooth ice, however on ridged, broken and gouged Ice such as I’m in, it’s bone crushing.

Due to my (multiple) cleft palate operations as a kid, I learnt to compartmentalise pain, walk off certain body bleatings and simply press on. I used this superpower (one of my few) today. Blocking out all body bleatings of cold, hunger, thirst, fatigue, pain and just simply dialled them down – almost as if I put these neural reactions into sleep mode. I wasn’t being reckless or foolish, just focused entirely on breaking the 200km barrier today over rough ice. Any serious dashboard issue would have come through the blockade and alerted me.

I had two significant falls involving a ski coming off, but other than that took no breaks today. I was on the skis, hands on the kite bar for 9 hours 49 minutes to make the 202 km I had set as the goal.

Near the end, within 20km of my goal I began to have odd visions in my periphery, almost like mirages! It might say something about me that the first vision was a BWS liquor store! The second was a swimming lane with Jade in it doing laps and the third that convinced me to stop was Dr Sam Jones in a red head sweat band and wrist sweat bands dancing. He made this impressive performance at our Gala Ball when we launched the expedition and no one needs to see that twice haha.

As soon as I finished it was as if all the neural complaints came at once. Bladder, knees, back, shoulder all screaming to make up for being ignored all day. I put the tent up on my knees, not my best effort.

I have rehydrated, eaten and am now done in, tucked into my sleeping bag ready for sweet, blissful sleep.

It remains to be seen if I can regenerate and do it again tomorrow.