Day 18 - Baburayanakoppal to Tirumakudalu Narasipura

Distance: 43km

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us" - Marianne Williamson

I looked ahead on the straight highway - the heat radiating off the asphalt to create that ripple effect that plays tricks with your vision. I was surrounded by dried out rice paddy fields and the occasional former stream that was now reduced to a small pond. Ponds with desperate fisherman trying to find their catch of the day.

I don't know what came over me - but I was 8km into my walk (my second interval - I break the day into small intervals) the temperature soaring into the mid 30s and decided right then that it was the perfect time to go for it. I wanted the Marathon.

Whilst I've had my challenging moments on the walk to date, I was feeling too comfortable - there was something inside of me that wanted to feel that pain of physical and mental exhaustion. How was I going to react? Was my body going to recover? What about them feet?

These are elements I am curious to explore, elements of self doubt as I look to get out of my comfort zone.

Walking along the highway gave me the opportunity to pop in and have a break at the various villages - mostly involved conversations with sugar cane farmers - doing everything from harvesting, stock pilling onto trucks and even cooking the sugar down in giant saucepans. An unforgettable smell.

As I approached the last two km - I had my Forrest Gump moment. I just "felt like running." Despite being exhausted I didn't want to stumble my way into town, I wanted to finish off the Marathon strong. I picked my feet off the ground and sprinted my way over the last two bridges to the town.

I arrived without a clue where to stay. Now I was thinking I probably shouldn't of been so happy with myself to run it in. Just as I was struggling to find an available lodge - I saw this small little dingy sign. That will do - bargain only $3 and 'clean' toilet facilities.

The man who walked me to the room just didn't want to leave - he kept making motions and these strange humming noises. I had no idea what was going on so kept on handing him over money. I felt like I was at the strippers making it rain with dollar bills. I think I gave him double the money than I did for the room.

Being on the road for 11 hours certainly gives you plenty of time to get into deep thought. Self doubt has been the greatest driver of my anxiety.

I don't need praise or acknowledgment as in my eyes I always feel like an imposter, a fraud, tricking those around me. Nothing I have done has ever felt quite good enough. I blame myself if it things don't go perfectly to script - relationships and work. I guess that's why I often hold onto things for longer than I should ...

I have had to teach myself to live in the present moment and not dwell so much on the past - the ongoing practice of meditation has helped. I have to teach myself to have faith - trust myself - but also that others have in me.

Self doubt is something we all will have at time to time - even can be used as a positive driving force. Self compassion and faith can be the most powerful tools we have to combat those chronic self doubt demons. Don't wait for others to praise you, be proud and give yourself the praise you deserve.

These tools are absolutely still a work in progress - but after today I can say, for what feels like the first time in my life, that I am genuinely proud of what I have achieved and am doing. All I had to do was a have a bit of faith and do that Marathon.

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