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Concrete hell and tears. Day 82, 50.5km  (1/14/2009)

This morning we turned off the Hume and travelled down the concrete Federal Hwy towards Canberra. Concrete roads may be better for drivers but for runners in the height of summer its sheer hell as the concrete reflects the heat more than bitumen. With the promise of another very hot day I retired early to my observatory position in the cool car by 9am as it was already way too hot for this little black dog. As the day progressed the outside temperature climbed to 37 degrees but on the concrete the temperature rose to around 43. D spent the day running up to the caravan to then gulp down two bottles of water, one bottle of endura rehydration drink and wetting down her cap. After a very long hot day D crawled into our night camp looking a little worse for wear. To cool down D and I were lying in the shade on the grass with wet towels on our heads. D was opening her mail which had been picked up from the post office. During the course of sorting out bills, bank statements, Christmas cards, this was the 1st mail D has had on the trip; D saw an envelope with the logo from a company she had applied for a community grant with. The grant was to try and boost the little savings D is using to fund our journey. D turned to me with hope in her voice and a smile on her lips and said “Let’s hope it’s a yes”. I held my breath in anticipation as she ripped open the envelope and started to read the letter, I knew the instant we were unsuccessful as I watched the smile fade from D’s face and the silence of disappointment engulfed us.   I knew D was unset as she lay back down on the grass, closed her eyes and I witnessed a single tear run down her cheek as she quietly whispered “I guess I’m not enough of a local hero”. You see this company had pitched the community grants to people who were helping their communities under the slogan of being a local hero. I know when D uttered those words she was feeling disappointed and a little rejected, coupled with the exhaustion from the extreme heat and the constant pain of her shin that she had for an instant let all the negative thoughts come to the surface when she received the letter. At the moment of her words I wanted to bite her good leg and tell her to snap out of it but I knew this wouldn’t help so I lay my head on her belly and D silently went deep within herself to meditate and pray on her feelings. This journey is hard and I know that D sometimes finds solace in those quiet moments of silence meditation. After about 10 minutes D opened her eyes patted me behind the ears and smiled. I knew then she would be okay that she was mentally back on track and ready to start a fresh tomorrow. You see in life we all have disappointments and rejections but it is how you cope and process them that affect the quality of your life. Every day in our lives we have a choice to allow the negative to defeat us or to be lifted by the positive. D shows me the power of positive thoughts every day, D not a local hero? My hindquarters!

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