Thursday, 15 January 2015

Big Foot's Big Walkathon

There are sportspeople, there are fit people, there are outdoorsy people, and then there’s me. Happy that I wasn’t crushed to death in a near-stampede (There are no tracks in a nature trail, I learnt), I almost forgot I was supposed to join the horde! Like I said: Big Foot's Big Escapade or 'Escape'ade? Then, as if I ruled that trail, I simply walked my way through, along with a few other aunties, uncles and kids. I was going to make it a cakewalk… well, a walk, anyway. I am pretty sure, I heard my Puma running shoes groaning in disgust.

Nonchalant to the fact that this is a “run”, I simply put one big foot in front of the other, walking as slowly as you could possibly imagine. I looked right to see a rivulet gurgling past pebbles and stones. I looked left to see acres and acres of coffee plantations. I looked straight ahead and saw no participants (thanks to my amazing speed). I looked back and saw, much to my amusement, that I was on par with oldies and kids.

It was as I paused at the rivulet to watch it slithering past, gurgling away like a happy baby, that I remembered why I had signed up for that trail run at all. It was as I walked past plantations after plantations that I remembered why I had let go of my introversive instincts in the first place. It was as I let my shoes and socks get wet in a stream we were to cross, that I remembered why I had chosen to let Mother Nature get the better of me.

About forty minutes into the trail, a while before I had to climb a steep hill, a few crew members of the organisers handed out glucose packets and water. When a foodie says glucose tastes like manna from the heaven, you can imagine the extent to which their body must have dried out! Well… I don’t know about the others, but it certainly had a great impact on my energy, at least until it began wearing off as I climbed, slipping every now and then, one of the Chomakundu Hills.

I wondered if I would get to the top and back alive at all; my sweat-beads had long turned into sweat-sea. But I guess I had a writer’s gumption then: I was there in pursuit of my favourite muse – Mother Nature, and I was going to get all of her, one way or another! At the back of my mind, even as I climbed like a snail, almost on all fours, I wondered how I would describe the walk, the crawl, and the hilltop view. I had no clue; only a small voice uttered (with as much difficulty as I climbed) “breathless”. I stifled a laugh; I didn’t want the aunties and uncles around me to think the trail had unhinged me!

Once atop the hill, though, the Bilbo in me stirred and took full flight. The ‘Misty Mountains’ track, from The Hobbit movie, played in my mind. My big, ugly feet tingled, as I set my eyes upon the landscape: there she was in all her lush beauty, my Mother Nature, the one who is the ink in the pen, the rhyme in the poem, the word for this smith…

Photo credit: Sindhu Rao & Flash Bulbzz Photography

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