What I learned hiking 60 km around Hong Kong Island
Updated: Dec 18, 2020
Last Saturday, my husband and I pushed "way" outside our comfort zones, tackling the famous 60km Hong Kong Island perimeter trail. We were with 14 other determined people (all masked up and socially distanced in groups of 2), all full of nervous anticipation. Suffice to say, it was EPIC and totally BRUTAL!!!
It was always going to be a "big" mental and physical challenge. In preparation we did a little 26km training walk a month prior — getting up early, testing out our food/energy plan and gear. We also wanted to know which body parts would start to ache, rub or blister first!
It took just under 12hrs, but I did manage to complete one lap of the whole island. The experience was so different to what I expected, here were my learnings in the hours post:
The high points
— The 3:30am hustle and anticipation, starting a huge goal in the dark with the HKG skyline twinkling, group camaraderie (14 starters and 14 finishers), great conversations kept us going, the varying terrain and views were totally amazing (digital map was super useful), seeing the sun rise over the islands below Shek O, discovering new parts of HKG Island, being totally aware of my mind and body especially when in discomfort, my beautiful husband walking so so slowly with me over the last 10km (rather than finishing with the group an hour faster) — simply FINISHING!!!!
The low points
— Super tender feet and blisters, ridiculously tight hip-flexors and ITB (down the side of quads into knee) that brought such sharp knee pain from about 20km (tape didn’t help sadly), hip/groins that became so tight and sore that I developed deep horrendous hamstring pain from about 40km (never had that before).
What I re-learned/remembered
— That my husband is totally selfless and caring, that sometimes riding things out really works so you should always persevere even when doubtful, that bad pain doesn’t seem so bad when even worse supersedes it, making weird primal noises when breathing out (aka like during child birth) really does help humans to bare and manage pain, that using mental distractions (like audiobooks or conversations) are very effective at taking you away from being stuck or consumed with your self/issues, the power and energy in a group goal goes a long way in motivating an individual, preparation leads to success, training matters (wish I’d done more), the brain is stronger than the body — slow and steady wins the race!
What surprised me
— That I never once asked myself if I should stop…even when I genuinely thought my hamstring could explode in any next step?
The post walk/next day update
— OMG so so sore, worst pain of my life, I feel 98 years old and can still barely move, icing half my body 3 times a day never felt sooooo good!
My concluding words
— Find and pursue passions, put yourself out there and make your life interesting by setting and chasing goals that help you discover more about yourself and to become a better version of yourself. Never take your mind, body or health for granted and surround yourself with great people! Give yourself permission and be courageous enough to seek joy and adventure, invest in your self and really LIVE A LIFE WORTH LIVING!
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— Alisa XxxxX