I have my moments, where I just really don’t want to do this any more.
I’ll not give up on it, if there’s anything useful that I was taught as a child, is to never give up. So I always have this nagging that swirls my mind, when things don’t go as I hoped and I may throw a tantrum and want to give up, and it may take me a while to get there but I mostly do; ever more prouder from the struggle and why not I suppose.
I know we all feel that pinch of frustration and disappointment when our expectations aren’t met or something goes wrong at the most clement of moments; it just seems so unfair. This is when I will either swear, shout or cry, followed by some industrial strength sulking but again, the way I was brought up, just doesn’t allow me to wallow in that little pit of pity for too long. I was often told that life is unfair and we don’t always get what we want (as Mick Jagger once mentioned). However, that given time, things do change; that the miserable moment will pass. I always go through a few stages when I sulk; firstly, I’ll be angry and will keep discussing with myself, the why’s and what fors. I will then take on different perspectives and question the way that things went and why I’ve had such bad luck and finally, I realise how lucky I am to be alive and healthy; to know I’ll always have clean water, food and a roof over my head and that should I become ill, I will be taken care of immediately, with out financial worry, thanks to the glory of the NHS ( please don’t become privatised) and that therefore my worries are minor compared to other poor souls. This then makes me feel a little guilty and ultimately, a little worse before I then move – on and get into productive mode. It’s how I roll and I doubt, at 37 years of age, that’s going to change much.
So, just the other day, another day of getting up at 6:30 am (or, stupid o’clock), knowing that today, we would finish a little earlier to enjoy the delights of electricity and a washing machine (oh how my desires have changed). We had planned a stop in Iraan, at an RV park to allow for us to re-charge everything and get a washing machine to do the job, that we really can’t do that well with just our hands. We were looking good for the day and meant that we would likely be finished by around 3:30…what a dream. After our lunch stop, I decided to head straight for the RV park (excited squeal). It was approximately 7 miles away; a good 10 minutes drive for me and a little over an hrs run (with a little post lunch walking) for Rob. Rob set off and after tidying up after him (of course), I was set to go. I caught up with him around about a mile on and he was frantically waving his arm. So with some concern I pulled over, into a patch of tall grass. I wound down my window and very quickly observed an animal in his hands, a bird of some description. He informed me that it was injured and asked me to look for any veterinary clinics in Iraan. Now, I wasn’t in the best of spots to be getting down with Google so, we decided to pop the little critter into a large box and meet further along the road, at a picnic spot, to decide the little invalid’s fate. This last bit of running was movie scene perfection. Imagine looking up to a steep old road, cut into the rocky hill. The sun grinning his hottest at you as you start this challenge. Foot forward after foot, breath inhaled and exhaled in furious oxygen and CO2 exchange; sweat marching forth across your body to defend from the heat. When you reach the peak, the sight your brain receives from your eyes forces you to gasp. What a sight it is. I made sure I recorded Rob running part way down that hill because it was a sight to behold. He caught up with me at the picnic stop, where I had managed to discover that road runners like to eat lots of mini meat snacks but that there was no vet clinic in Iraan. I really didn’t think we could cater for him until we managed to find a place that would rehabilitate him and my thoughts were that his chances, although maybe slim, were better back, close to where Rob had found him. I’m not a fan of animals dying in any form of stress but nature has its way and human interference isn’t always for the better. After making a phone call to a vet clinic 90 miles away for some advice on an animal we know nothing about, we were given that exact advice, along with the information that they are extremely terratorial. Back he was to go with hopefully some very minor injuries and a little shock,hopefully only slightly increased by running along with Rob for a few foot. It was this turning around that changed my mood from hero to sobbing zero. The sudden panic of wanting to get the little guy back, meant I totally forgot about my squash that I’d prepared myself. It managed to handle me going most of the way but with the turn around it slipped off the edge and spread across the floor. Rob, holding on to the road runner could do nothing but shout to me about it, this raised my panic levels and forced me to pull into the same area of long grass. Over the confusion and chaos, we both heard a popping sound followed by hissing, where I had perfectly lined up over a plank of wood with giant screws poking out. Rob shouting that it’s the tyre, still with the road runner in clasped hands, drink spreading further. I quickly moved forward and then buried my face into my palms, crying, in a complete fluster. Rob told me to head back to the picnic spot and that he would meet me after he had found a suitable location for our very confused companion (who knows what was going through his little mind).He tried to calm me down and get things sorted, so I drove steadily back to the picnic stop; jumped out and looked at the flat tyre, utterly frustrated. We had only just paid out for three new tyres, just a few days before at a cost of $440. After my sulk went trough its stages, I became productive and managed to find a tyre shop in Iraan. I gave them a call and they could sort the tyre out for me – no problems. Great. No. Unbeknown to me, it was out of hours so we already had a charge before the tyre was even dealt with; they also didn’t have a new tyre but instead a partly worn one. We opted to use our spare and have the partly worn one to replace the spare. It took a little while for this all to happen and the guy seemed really nice. Unfortunately, our spare tyre turned out to not be that great and he suggested we change it again soon, when we can. Great. NO. We bought a partly worn tyre and had a tyre replaced that I need to change again at the cost of $175. I hate to complain about out of hours fees, having worked in an emergency department at a veterinary clinic but that stung, bad. We were both pretty gloomy and it was 6:30 by the time we pulled up to the campsite; 7pm by the time I’d finished dinner; 8:30 by the time I’d finished sitting off at the local launderette; 9pm by the time I’d filled the water tank, washed up and had a shower. I was so tired and so sick of it.
This run is Rob’s dream, not mine but obviously being in a relationship means you do things for each other. I couldn’t have gone many more days of him going on about wanting to run across America before I stabbed him with a rolled up map of America, so of course I would join him, I had my apprehension before leaving but I was also excited about it. I mean, what an amazing thing to be doing and being part of a process to raise money and awareness for WWF and Peace Direct. It still isn’t my dream though, so sometimes I just really don’t want to do it anymore. We’re funding this whole trip ourselves; this is our savings, our house deposit money and I know that’s our decision and I know we’re doing something that will be far more valuable in memories than any house can give you but, spending £550 on tyres alone, within the first stages when we’ve already spent 1000’s hits pretty hard. There always seems to be something to think or worry about; like buying food, water, getting petrol, getting propane, smelling propane, smelling sulphur, buying a new battery, emptying the tanks, working out where I can park, making breakfast, lunch and dinner, finding a laundromat calling up an RV park and clock watching for the move into the next stop.You can never truly relax and it’s exhausting. I haven’t had a lay in for weeks, each day is so similar that I honestly forget what day it is sometimes and I’m sick of cleaning that damn protein shaker!
This is obviously how tough it is for me at times and Rob finds it hard too. The running itself seems to be the easiest part but his commitment to the charities and associated companies goes beyond normal. He writes many blogs for different things, replies to multiple emails and tries to maintain the social media to daily doses of fun, even when he’s clearly so tired. He always wants to make sure everyone else is catered for. He still remains very cheery about it all so the odd day of his bad moods can be totally forgiven.
So it’s not all fun and games. In fact, it is often pretty hard and tedious but like I said, I was brought up to keep going and never give up because the tough times will pass and at the end of it, I’ll have had so many wonderful moments to share as amazing memories with Rob and I’ll be all the more prouder for it, and why not.