Wellness Wednesdays – OXFAM Trailwalker 2011 Recap

Hey Chicks!!

Team FIT CHICKS is back alive from the 2011 Oxfam Trailwalker!  And what were the results…?

1.  Completed the 100km race in 28 hours 02 min

2.  Crossed the finish line 18th out of 86 teams

3.  Raised $3120 to help fight global poverty and human rights for all chicks and roosters – woot woot!

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Oxfam Trailwalker, here is the description they have posted on their website:

Oxfam Trailwalker is the world’s greatest and toughest team challenge. Completing the 100km journey on foot in 48 hours or less, as a team of 4 is a physical and mental challenge! Each team must start together, stick together and finish together. The event is not just physically demanding, but it is also a fundraising challenge in support of Oxfam’s work to end poverty and injustice around the world.

This was our second year taking part in the Oxfam Trailwalker as part of our “Chicks for Change” initiative so we knew a little bit more what to expect (aka I packed more than a sandwich and a bottle of water this year!). Confident?  Maybe  A little more cocky?  Yes.

On Friday July 22, Team FIT CHICKS (which included me, Amanda, Jackie and Stephanie) headed to begin our 100km trek on the Gananaska Trail from Barrie to Orillia.   Last year, we drove up in a monsoon but this year was a different obstacle…it was HOT.  And when I say hot, I mean 38 degrees plus humidity hot!  The day before was the hottest day in Ontario history so we started tweeting and facebooking for some chick support, began chugging tons of water to hydrate and got into in the “zone”. We were all super pumped to take on this challenge for a second time with an ambitious goal of completing it in less than 24 hours.

As we set off across the start line, the reality set in that this year was going to be alot harder than last but with our wrapped feet, protein bars, Britney Spears and H20 we tried to stay positive.

That said, this year we ran into a lot of challenges. Here is the coles notes version…  Lost our support crew and a team member at 10km Checkpoint 1,  had to try to track down a new support crew while in the forest, got attacked by moths, 38 degree sweltering heat and humidity, beyond swollen feet, rolled knees in the forest, shin splints and near dehydration in the last stretch as we ran out of water.  Not only being more physically challenging this year, the mental challenge was one of the hardest things I have ever experienced.

I know you might be reading this thinking “What is good about this experience?!” .  Well, there was alot!  During the times that you are pushed waaaay beyond your comfort zone is when you truly uncover how strong you actually are – mentally and physically – and how when you surround yourself with people who push you to believe you can, anything is possible.  Even though at times I thought my body could not make it, we finished this race as a fierce FIT CHICK family (with Mama Hen Huls and Stephanie in our hearts the whole way!) and proved to myself again that it is really mind over matter (well, that and lots of boot camp training and ibuprofen!)

10 Lessons learned from the 2011 Oxfam Trailwalker

1. You are always stronger than you think,

2. Do not change your shoes at 90km unless you want shin splints (I am still dying!)

3. Family always comes first

4. Hydrate. hydrate. hydrate!

5. A bear bell is actually beautiful music (especially at 4 am in a pitch black forest)

6. I have the best friends in the whole world who push me to be the best I can be

7. We have the best chicks in the whole world – we could not have done it without your support

8. A plastic bag on your head will not prevent heat stroke

9. Peanut butter and M&M sandwiches should be considered a delicacy

10. Toenails are overrated …I only lost 2 this year!

I also just wanted to give some huge shout outs to:

Jackie & Amanda – for being my sisters, my partners in crime and the toughest, fiercest chicks in the world

Mama Hen Huls – for her love, preparation and being the best spirited injured chick I have ever met!

Stephanie– for being an amazing daughter and team member

Jess and Stu – for giving up their Friday Date Night to follow around 3 sweaty chicks in a forest

To all of our Chicks for your love, support and donations – we could have done it without you!

Now, any recommendations for curing shin splints? …:)

Your Head Chick,

Laura xo

PS Don’t forget about our summer promo!  Sign up for Aug 8 week bootcamp and SAVE $50 off.  Just enter code “summer” when you sign up online!