I am one week away from the biggest adventure of my life and I am sitting on the sofa, with time on my hands but an inability to apply my brainpower to what needs doing.
Between discussions about what travel insurance might be most appropriate for my 1249 mile run from Rome to London and whether I need a solar power charger that also has a radio and a torch light attached to it, I feel thoroughly lost in a world of the unknown.
There is so much I don’t know. I don’t know what it is like to run large mileage day after day. I don’t know what it will do to my body. I don’t know what it will do to my mind.
I don’t know whether I will be able to take dried foodstuff in my hand luggage on the flight. I don’t know if I will be able to find certain creams and lotions in Rome that I will need to avoid chafing and blistering. I don’t know how to use kinesiology tape, although I have some.
I don’t know whether I will be able to appreciate the scenery or whether I’ll be too busy moaning about my aching body.
I don’t know how often I will find pilgrim’s accommodation or campsites to stay in.
I don’t know how easy finding food will be or whether I’ll need to plan carefully and carry a lot on me between towns. I don’t know how often I will have to run for days without seeing anyone.
I don’t what travel insurance I need. Is long-distance running considered an ‘extreme sport’? And if not, will regular travel insurance do, even though I’m obviously doing something more risky than your average backpacking trip?
I don’t know if everything will fit into my bag. I’m 95% certain it will but haven’t practise packed yet.
I don’t know if this niggle in my right foot is actually an injury. I don’t know whether resting it would help or training on it.
You see? An awful lot of unknowns there. One thing I do know, however, is that most of this won’t be figured out until Monday 12th September, when I start moving. I do know that my friend’s parents, who are also runners, will be in Rome holidaying and they are going to come to the start line and run the first part with me. I do know that having that support is going to calm my initial fears and keep my feet moving.
I do know that I would not even be getting to the start-line if not for the overwhelming kindness of the people around me who have donated kit, time and advice. I have also been blown away by the donations towards fundraising for the Ronald McDonald House in Manchester.
I also know that the experience will blow my mind, that people will be kind when I least expect it, that the view will sometimes be so beautiful that it makes me smile uncontrollably and that I will arrive back with different ideas about myself and the world.
Because of the things I do know, I am able to face the huge amount that I don’t know, take a deep breath and trust that the world will take care of things.
Here’s to stepping into the unknown…
Check out more from Laura and her running adventures over at her blog. http://lazylauramaisey.wordpress.com/
Donate to Laura’s casue: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Adam-Finch-RMCH
Facebook page: https://m.facebook.com/runninghomefromrome/