Back in the Game (Part Three) – Lake Marian Trek

“On a Mish” #269 Back in the Game (Part Three). Lake Marian. Fiordland National Park. 14.4.2021. It is amazing where determination / stubbornness can get you. Simply focusing on the task at hand and not worrying about any outside factors can get you through some pretty difficult situations. “Imagine the view” and “you can’t keep going up forever” are expressions I would use when guiding clients who were finding the going a bit tough back in the day, and now I was the one in need of encouragement. The simple fact is use whatever it takes to get you to the top of the mountain, track, staircase or even just outta bed sometimes!

As I sat back on my breakfast rock and enjoyed the view of Lake Marian I was thankful that I had overcome the battle with my mind, telling me to stop and turn back because that would be easier. One of the joys of hiking is the satisfaction of getting to the target location in one piece and then reminding yourself why you did this. If you can find something that makes you lose control of your face muscles with a grin from ear to ear, then I believe the ‘pain and suffering’ was all worth it. Dam it felt good to be back in the game, Lake Marian was definitely worth the pain and anguish, however I was only at the halfway point of this mish.

Wandering in wonder through the lush forests of trees and ferns, and the tall walls of the mountains of Fiordland is an excellent distraction when your target is many hours away. Hiking is a great way of setting yourself little goals and getting that sweet feeling of success when you make it to your planned destination. I had achieved many goals on this mish and to be honest there were points when I thought I might have bitten off more than I could chew and I would be forced to stop and live the rest of my days on the side of the Lake Marian Track!

Mirror like conditions on Lake Marian

As I began my journey back I finally ran into other people which was perfect timing for me as I had had the lake to myself for the perfect amount of time and now it was their turn. I gave a rather enthusiastic report of the conditions up at the lake and with that they were off to enjoy one of Fiordland’s jewels and I was working in a combined effort with gravity.

As expected, going down was much more difficult with only one good hip. I would get going and my well practised hiking instinct would take over only to have my leg give up mid step. In a couple of places I was forced to stretch out a step just an inch or two too far and this would send me crashing to the ground with a thud. As much as I wanted to run down the track like I would have done pre-injury, I had to move slowly and be aware that my legs weren’t working like they used to.

I took water breaks as often as possible, and in places I could see through the trees to the mountains of the Fiordland section of the Routeburn Track. My mind was a mix of magic memories made back when I was a guide on the track. But also I was also remembering times when I had an undamaged body and this at times would bring my mood down. However as Fiordland always does, a bird, bush, tree of view would snap me out of my slump and I was very grateful to be able to come to this awesome place at all.

Now with a limp like a Hunchback, I only had a couple of kilometres left and I knew it was going to be a grind to get though, but that mish success was a feeling I was desperate for and desperation can get you through some grim situations.

Seeing the Hollyford River and then the swing bridge over it was a beautiful sight. I was now positive I was going to make it but even though it was only a handful of steps away I still had to have a rest break before I got there.

With the smile of a weary traveller I clambered into my car and within seconds of sitting down I knew I was going to pay for the game I had just played. But it was well worth it, and in such a spectacular place it felt so very good to be back in the game!!

New Zealand. What a place to explore!

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