Earning my medal (in only 60 days of training)

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When I discovered I have celiacs disease (now almost two years ago) and cut gluten from my diet completely I finally started to feel human for the first time in my life. The constant bloating and stomach ache disappeared (I didn’t even KNOW these feelings weren’t normal!), my face started to clear up and heal, my migraines vanished and most important of all, I wasn’t constantly fatigued and brain-fogged anymore.

Before this I was almost 35, and could hardly keep awake for my 4 hour work shifts, slept right after until dinner on most days and right after dinner again. I was so tired from always being tired! And tried many things to overcome that, until I finally went to a doctor.

After starting the diet, I felt better each day and after a few months didn’t know what to do with all that new build up energy in my body. I finally understood how people after working 8 or 9 hours a day could meet up with friends or go out to do sports in the evening. It was such a weird and new feeling to me! The world finally started to open up to me.

When talking about this (a lot) with my partner, he challenged me to set a firm goal for myself. What about hiking? First I didn’t get the necessity of this, because well, I never had set goals because I couldn’t get there anyway. But this time of course everything in my life was different. And even though my mind didn’t get it yet, my partner was right.

I decided I wanted to walk the Airborne March. This commemorative march in remembrance of the Battle of Arnhem 1944 have the main (military) 40km march and 25km, 15km and 10km marches. The decision was made exactly 60 days before the march. Because of the short training period I decided to walk the 15km route. I did not want to fail.

In those 60 days I walked every couple of days about 3-5km each time and twice made it to 7,5km. I changed my walking speed from an average of 4km an hour to 4,8km an hour. And when the big day came, I walked not 15 but 17km! (Yes, they lied.) Still with an average speed of 4,9km/hour. And I got my medal! 😀

Right after we went on holiday and did even more hiking, sometimes up to 15km a day. Suddenly it all wasn’t so impossible anymore.