Let’s be completely honest
Spring is in the air and I’m loving it! As the days grow longer and the weather gets milder, I basically want one thing: to go outside and explore! I’m looking into doing some day hikes on the weekend, preferably Saturdays so I can conk out on Sunday if needed. Too many weekends are spent trying to catch up with sleep after a busy week at work (I do very much love sleeping in). Too many weekends I try to stay on top of my household and groceries. I am a very homey person, but maybe I shouldn’t think too much about my rhythm and just get out there for a hike!
As for the summer, my brain radars are going full speed! I’ve booked my holiday to Iceland and I’m so excited! Beautiful landscapes, few people and the outdoors…the prospect of going on my Icelandic adventure leaves me super excited! I used to ride Icelandic horses in my teens so I hope to ride when I’m in Iceland.
Another thing I’m looking into is hiking the Vasaloppsleden in Sweden. This is one of my bucket list hiking trails, so I’m keen on exploring the full trail, after having had a two-day taste of it during my first holiday to Sweden about a decade ago. There isn’t a lot of information to be found online, so I’ve contacted the information centre in Mora by e-mail to have some of my questions answered. My map is on the way!
Apart from being a bucket list hiking trail, if I do get to go out on the Vasaloppsleden trail, it would also function as a test run to see if I am in fact capable of doing a multiple day hike. I know I said in previous posts that I think the Fjällräven Classic is too rough of a trail for me, but somehow I can’t really let it go. Not yet. I’ve been thinking about it a lot and really need to be honest with myself about the reasons why I didn’t finish last time and why I think I’d do better next time. If there is a next time. So let’s go all out and brain dump some contemplations I’ve had about my -thus far failed- Fjällräven Classic attempts.
My thoughts on why I didn’t finish
- I underestimated how rough the trail was going to be (remember, I’m from flat country).
- I’m intimidated by the rockiness of the trail, the Tjäkta pass, and (the prospect of) bad weather.
- I’m not really a camping person. Despite presenting myself as adventurous, when I lie in a tent I get this feeling of ‘why was this fun again?’
- I worry about having to set up my tent in the rain, about everything getting soaked, about not ever being warm or dry again.
- I hate doing numbers 1 and 2 outdoors. I really do.
- I live in a city, I don’t know a whole lot about adventuring the outdoors, so I felt self-conscious about my (lack of) skills. Like I was walking around with a sign pointing down saying ‘hey, here’s a noob!’
- I worried a lot about wrecking my body irreparably. The nurse at Sälka checkpoint said my knee was strong, but that didn’t comfort me enough.
- I got into my own head. The prospect of having to spend days to come in a tent, in cold weather and eating crappy foods was tougher on my mind than my sore knee was for my body.
- I took ibuprofen and paracetamol for my sore knee, but those painkillers -especially ibuprofen- made me really drowsy and possibly clouded my thinking.
- I didn’t stretch. I was so sore but never thought about stretching my body!
- I had no appetite. The snacks I bought weren’t cutting it, the freeze dry breakfast was disgusting.
- I’m not a fast hiker. I felt rushed and worried that I wouldn’t finish in time. I should have embraced the saying ‘there’s no rush in the mountains’. Also, I shouldn’t treat hiking as a 9-5 thing…you can go whenever.
My thoughts on why I think I can do it next time
- I’ve lost 11 kg of body weight and I’m now at a healthy weight for my length. That’s a lot less weight to lug around and impact my knees.
- I have a better handle on what to bring and what to leave at home. I hope to cut down on a bit of weight next time.
- I have ideas about which food and snacks to bring. I can test these ideas on the Vasaloppsleden.
- I’m a lot fitter than I was two years ago. If I keep this up -which I will- I’ll be just as fit or even fitter next year.
- I know that I will get sore, but I’m going to stretch regularly.
- Take to heart to ‘rest your body’ instead of to ‘quit the trail’.
- I know it will be mentally challenging. Perhaps more so than physically. I just got to put one foot in front of the other.
- I recovered from my physical soreness quite quickly after I had quit the trail, which made me think I could -and should?- have stayed on the trail.
- I’m honest with myself about the reasons why I didn’t manage to finish last time.
- I can visualise myself crossing the finish line and how amazing it would feel.
So who knows if I find myself hiking along the Kungsleden again for a final attempt?