First Major Test: 50km+ Hike for Sunday (tomorrow)

As I walk around the city dressed as the bumbling boofhead superhero Captain Australia, I see people wave and smile or clap and cheer and I find myself musing over what they are cheering for.

I think it’s probably applauding someone willing to make a fool of themselves for a cause.

But I’m *more* than that.

I came to play.

I fought cancer. Stage 4 cancer. 6 months to live. Aggressive chemoradiation. Horrible side effects. I fought it, and I won. I’m not a joke. The cause isn’t a joke either, the idea that little children face up to the same horrors and lifelong side effects that I did is devastating.

I worry about that a little, because I want to achieve one or more of the following:

  • get donations for Captain Australia’s BIG WALK which all go to The Kids Cancer Project (I rely on you, please, please, to share, advocate, do all you can to get the word out)
  • Amuse people, make them happy, make them see that we, all of us, can step outside the hum-drum daily grind
  • Inspire people, make them see that it’s not crazy to do the RIGHT THING, to stand up, to aspire to values that some cynics might dismiss as ‘comic book’
  • Help people, if I stumble across people as broken as I was, I can help them to stand. To see that deep, dark pit I was stuck in, and how I somehow managed to clamber out. It’s a BIG WALK, but I want to leave a path other suffering people can follow.
  • Heal myself, I am quite literally walking away from cancer. It tries to kill you, it tries to hurt you, and it tries to case a shadow over the rest of your life. I go on my BIG WALK to rediscover a sense of hope & healing that I found when I was younger.
  • Have an adventure, a real, old school Quest. As I age, I want to show that even though life may often feel like a withering of joy, it’s in us, all of us, no matter how old or broken, to go one one more big adventure
  • Meet fascinating people, I’d love to meet interesting people on the road, do live streams, share their stories

So I’m concerned that people look at me, walking along with my big banner and think things like:

“Crazy fool, he’ll NEVER walk all the way from Brisbane to Melbourne”

“Look at that fat idiot, thinks he’s a superhero, he‘s just goofing around”

I’m very happy if people get a giggle. In fact, I love it – if I can help people be 0.5% more joyful, then that’s a fantastic thing. But I want them to see that we can be responsible. Strong. And together stronger still. We can do things that are unexpected, even powerful.

When I do my BIG WALK, the plan is 30km – 60km every day. That’s chipping away at a total distance more than 2400km. But until I’m doing it, I haven’t earned your support, and we need your donation NOW.

So I thought tomorrow I’d do a BIG WALK to test my gear, my present level of strength, my glorious new boots.

I’ll walk from Brisbane CBD to Wellington Point (and get to see the ocean, YAY!), a distance of around 25km. Then I’ll find a lovely place to rest, sit down, stretch my legs, maybe in the ocean. And mid afternoon I’ll turn and walk back again.

So far the furthest I’ve done in all my post-cancer walking was about 40km, so tomorrow should be quite a test. I figure on riding a bus into the city, and getting started from the CBD around 7am. I should get to Wellington Point around lunchtime. I’ll rest there for 2 or 3 hours, get out of the midday sun, and head back at around 3pm. I figure on another 5-6 hour hike (slower coming back no doubt), getting me home late evening.

I’ll plan on doing a series of short streams – when I set out, midway, arrival at Wellington Point, headed back, midway, arrival. I can then blend them into a YouTube video for anybody that wants to see it.

My goal is to show that I am 100% earnest, that the charity The Kids’ Cancer Project is completely worth committing to, and that you, me, WE can find ways to push ourselves beyond the every day. We should try to be heroes.

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