This one time I went to a sports ground. I stayed there for 24 hours. Walked quite a bit. Met some amazing people. All to raise funds for the research which is done by the Cancer Council. I went to Relay For Life 2015.
When I got to the venue I was immediately shocked with how many tents there were. The event has definitely grown since that last time. And when I got out of the car I was also greeted by some lovely bees and wasps. That wasn't fun haha
It took a while to find my teams campsite. Quite awkward because I didn't know anyone in my team bar form one girl who wouldn't be there for another couple of hours! I'd been to the help station and was told my campsite was no. 1 so went to try and find the site which was meant to be opposite from where I was standing. Nope there was no campsite no. 1 to be found so back to the help station I went and asked another person! Long story short my teams campsite was no. 94 (nowhere near the no. 1 haha) and when I finally found it, I was honestly surprised. I was expecting maybe a tent and a few chairs to be there. Oh no, we had a gazebo, with some windbreaks, a small open tent near the front and a larger tent out the back, bunch of camping chairs, there was a heater type thing and there was food and drink. Lots and lots of food and drink. I was worried that I wouldn't have enough money to get food and water for the time I was there but I didn't have to worry anymore!
It was in my moment of surprise at seeing the campsite that I met some of the people on the team! I was the only girl apart from the team leader but the guys were great and we had many, many laughs while walking around the track! I had fronted up wearing my Captain America jumper instead of the Relay For Life jumpers we'd been given because I thought it was going to be quite cold. No. Was well hot and Captain America was put back in my bag!
I walked for four hours on and off at the start and it was during this time that I developed some blisters on my feet and also got sun/heat stroke. I don't do too well with heat and this kind of put a stop to me walking for a while. I had a nap for about half an hour and was woken up by Natalie when she arrived! We sat in the tent talking for a bit as I wasn't too keen on standing or moving.
We did some walking, gave snacks out to some of the other teams, danced to McBusted, had a little sausage sizzle, did some more walking, swerved countless times to avoid bees and wasps and slowly but surely I could feel my feet hurting more and more.. Thinking back on it now, I really should have stopped walking, wasn't doing myself any good!
Fast forward a few hours and after a moving ceremony my team, which had changed a little bit due to more people coming in and some leaving, realised there were glow sticks... Now we are all university students, who are mature and representing the University of Tasmania, we are responsible and act our age. But there were glow sticks so we couldn't just leave them in the packet. That would just be a terrible waste of glow sticks.
Natalie and myself looking so stylish it is not funny! I had these little clip on glow stick earrings and it felt weird to have them there as I don't have my ears pierced haha!
Some of the most brilliant people!
As you can see, responsible university students who accessorize with an array of glow sticks. We may or may not have gotten some interesting looks from the other teams, we assumed they were simple jealous... Our team leader also couldn't look at us seriously haha
During this time our team had a massive energy boost and I found myself walking for another two hours and the pain in my legs and the blisters on my feet weren't really an issue. It was probably now when I had the most fun. I'd never met any of the people in my team (apart from Natalie) but everyone was so nice and the amount of laughter that came from our campsite from brilliant!
Now I love food and pizza is one of my food loves. So you can imagine my face when at least 20 boxes of pizza arrived at our campsite. 20. Boxes. Of. Pizza. I have never seen so much pizza in my life! I think the pizza I had was a three cheese pizza and it was delicious!! #ILovePizza
I LOVE PIZZA
NATALIE LOVES PIZZA
It was after the pizza and a few more laps where I crashed. The blisters and leg pain came back with a mighty force and walking soon became something that I found very hard to do. I was scheduled to walk with Natalie from 1-2am and then from 6-7am so Natalie and I said goodnight to everyone and decided to have some shut eye. We'd both set alarms and I was so worried that when the alarms went off I wouldn't be able to move to do my laps. Basically what happened was Natalie did the two shifts while I was dead to the world. She turned off my alarms so I wouldn't be disturbed as well haha! I only got about 3 hours of solid sleep and the rest of the time I was there not really being able to move. Every time I went to roll over, oh my goodness, the pain. But far out Natalie, I owe you big time!
I can't remember exactly when I got up to get out of the tent, but everyone looked so tired and I felt so bad that I hadn't been able to help during the morning hours. No one minded and I was constantly told to stop apologizing and to drink my tea and eat my breakfast which had been supplied by Hungry Jacks. While we were having breakfast, one of the guys in the team told me that a girl had been over to our campsite and asked my team to tell me that I was slacking and wasn't working hard enough. To say I was angry was an understatement and for the remainder of the relay every time that particular team walked past I had to put up with the "I'VE ONLY HAD AN HOURS SLEEP!" "GET UP AND WALK" "STOP SLACKING". I ranted to mum when I was talking to her and just to shut the people up ended up doing more laps. Hello big mistake.
What really got me is Relay For Life isn't about how many laps you've done, or how much sleep you've had. It isn't a competition and this team clearly forgot about that. This really put a dampener on the event for me :(
However apart from this was probably the best 24 hour period I've had in a long time. I met some amazing people, walked I don't know how many laps and kilometres, and really had a blast! I'd do it again next year, easily. Except this time, I'll prepare myself for the walking and also buy a good pair of shoes for walking!
There were also bagpipe players! Natalie and myself nearly got run over by them at one stage hahaha :P
Until next time, keep smiling :) xx