Day 29 – I Can Finally Start To Believe

Day 29 – 6 Feb 2015 – Travelled from Bellur Cross to Mahadevpura

Distance – 42km – Cumulative total 1218km

My name is Chris and I’m walking 1,260km from Mumbai to Bangalore to raise money for widows in India. I’m walking 30 Marathons in 30 Days and I will be writing a blog post every day. To follow my progress you can sign up to receive updates here. To read my previous blog posts click here. To make a donation please visit this page. Thanks for reading and please leave me a comment as they really do give me a lift when I read them every morning.

Well, day 29 done and I am finally prepared to allow myself to believe that I can do it. Thinking I had cracked it at any stage earlier was not something I allowed myself to do – my psychology doesn’t work in that way.

Pawan asked in his recent comment why I had chosen to do this walkathon. I am sure there are a whole bunch of deep seated psychological reasons including some rather unattractive ones like needing to prove myself and seeking appreciation and approval but the main reason I am clear about is that I recognise I have been extremely fortunate during my life (the times when misfortune has descended, and there have been some very low points, have normally been self inflicted) so it was only right that I should try and do something positive. When I am in one of my more reflective moods and teaching at various law schools in India I will often remind the students that we are all given very different but special gifts and it is important that we should try and use these wisely. I have tried to use some of the gifts that I been have given in the planning, training for and execution of this walk.

This morning we met a group of Indians coming the other way who were on a ‘pad yatra’. They were led by a man called Sai Baba who explained that they were walking 300km from Bangalore to Dharmasthala. They didn’t seem particilarly interested in what we were up to until we told them I was ‘Chris Baba’ and were walking from Mumbai to Bangalore. My goodness that resulted in ‘respect’. See below for a photo of our meeting.

We were joined today by a young engineering student called Arvind who had got up at 3.30am to drive from Bangalore to be with us for the start of today’s walk. The poor chap didn’t know what he had let himself in for as we had already set ourselves the goal of trying to achieve a personal best (PB) walking time for today’s marathon. Arvind had a heart of gold and hung in there as long as he could but Ed’s super fitness and my dogged determination after 28 days on the road ultimately proved too much for him and he returned to our hotel of last night on the bus to collect his motorbike for the return journey to Bangalore. We did indeed achieve a PB when my walking time came in at just under 7 hours. To Sachin’s horror this involved me running at the end rather faster than I had done at any other stage – I could hear Sachin shouting behind me “stop, we have another day to go………………”.

I fear I have oversold the 30×30 diet and to my enormous disappointment at my weigh-in today I tipped the scales at a rather heavy 80kg (having lost only 4kg in 29days). The ‘pain/reward’ ratio being completely unacceptable. Cancel the publicity.

My naïve belief that my hair would grow back to an acceptable level by the time I returned to the office has proved wholly false and it still looks like I have escaped from prison.

Ed has been the perfect tonic at the end of my walkathon and I think he has also really enjoyed his time with me and in India. He has been shouting out Indian greetings even more often than me – a sure sign of how happy he is to be here.

Atul’s son has not been well again over the last few days and I know he has carried that burden with him. He can’t wait to get home but equally wants to be part of the finish.

The extraordinary Kumar popped out of the ether again at the end of today having set off with a friend at 3am from Mumbai. He wanted to confirm our route for the final day and to be in Bangalore to meet me. What an amazing man.

As you may recall, Atul has been obsessed with photographing me each morning having my ‘first chai of the day’. Having told him that the each photograph looks the same as the last one he managed to capture me sitting under a perfect sign (quite by accident) which read ‘refilling and servicing’.

My body is holding up remarkably well thanks to ‘magic hands’ Sachin. I had cramping in my right calf yesterday but frankly that was largely my fault as a result of not hydrating enough. My feet are as tough as they will ever be so perhaps I can try walking on burning coals when I arrive in Bangalore. My knees have also been playing up a bit and Sachin has promised I will be fully taped up tomorrow so I can look like a professional sportsman when I arrive in Bangalore. I have told Ed that I am probably as fit as I will ever be again but he thought that rather depressing – he thinks I have more in me yet!

Deb and Molly have now got their visas so they are all set to meet me in Bangalore later on this week. I can’t wait.

Raj has kindly been liasing with the Speaker of the Parliament in Bangalore to arrange a small reception for next Tuesday. I’m not sure Raj will have broken the news to him that I will be turning up in shorts and one of my walking tops looking something akin to a ‘street man’.

Your support during this walk has touched me greatly and I certainly don’t feel worthy of it – all I have been doing is walking through the beautiful country that has become my second home.

I hope I can sleep tonight because I must say I am rather excited and perhaps for the first time will allow myself to savour the experience.

With much love from us all in Mahadevpura.

Chris xx

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