Throwback Thursday: 24.5 miles of hangover
Saturday AM – The party before
“I’m doing the Yorkshire Three Peaks tomorrow,” I tell everyone as I sway messily from side to side, beer bottle in hand. It’s the early hours of Saturday: I’m wasted, and I am, indeed, doing the Yorkshire Three Peaks tomorrow. My audience of equally wasted friends laugh and tell me “I’m mad”, a comment I’ve decided to take as a compliment although I’m not sure if it is. I feel weirdly smug that I’m doing it all, living the metropolitan life, partying the nights away and still finding time to raise money for charity on a Sunday. I’m pretty damn impressed with myself as I swig some more beer, sleep a distant concern.
Sunday AM – The morning after
It’s Sunday. F*ck me, I am rough. My buzzing alarm tells me it’s 5 am which means that, despite every inch of my body begging me to let it rest after I forced it to drink another Friday and Saturday away, I have to get up and trek 24.5 miles in the countryside. I curse myself: why on earth did I agree to this?! It occurs to me that the question really should be why did I get blitzed all weekend when I knew I had this charity trek planned? I push the thought aside and begin, begrudgingly, to get ready.
Sunday PM – Halfway through hell
Who goes on a two-day bender before doing the godforsaken three peaks?! Why didn’t I think of doing oh, I don’t know, any form of exercise before attempting this?! I am in agony; every bit of my body hurts and my head is in turmoil. I’ve come too far to turn back, but the end is nowhere in sight. This is living hell. I’m so hungover, tired, thirsty and exhausted, I can’t appreciate the amazing natural beauty that surrounds me. I’m close to tears as I watch the grannies zoom on past me, happier and healthier than I am in my early twenties. What the hell am I doing with my life?
Sunday PM – How am I alive?
I can’t believe it, I did it: I finished the Yorkshire Three Peaks. I can’t feel my legs and I’m not sure how the combination of little sleep or food followed by that monstrosity of a trek hasn’t killed me. There were more than a few moments when I was sure I was done for yet, somehow, here I am. I vow to myself that I’m going to get healthier, exercise more and be kinder to my body. I’m done with all-weekend-benders and wasting my life at the bottom of bottles. Today proves I can do anything!
I and my fellow trekkers walk into a pub and, despite all my resolutions, I immediately order a pint.