Abi and I took part in the Dam-tot-Dam walk yesterday. We set out from the house at about 06:45, cycled to Zaandam station and took the train to Amsterdam. The starting line for the walk was on Dam Square, and the 26km route took us through central Amsterdam, out over Zeeburgereiland, through Schellingwoude, Noord, and finally skirting Oostzaan before curving round to take us back into the centre of Zaandam.
When we got in to Amsterdam Central Station, I noticed that my back was wet. The wet patches were where the backpack’s padding was pressing up against my lower back, and I thought it must have been that I’d got a bit sweaty from the cycle to Zaandam. When we got to the starting line and took the route maps and stamp cards out of the backpack, though, we discovered that it was because one of the cans of cola we’d brought with us had burst open and emptied completely. At least it hadn’t been dripping brown liquid down the back of my trousers, but everything in the backpack (most notably: spare socks) was completely soaked. The lower back foam padding had absorbed much of the liquid, and I spent most of the walk trying to ignore a moist chafing feeling.
The previous day’s referendum result had knocked me flat. Because of the early morning, I hadn’t fully caught up on sleep. Discovering the burst can sent my mood spiralling even further down. I was close to not even starting the walk in the first place, but I didn’t want to let Abi down. She offered to carry the backpack, but the thought of walking 26km with an uncomfortable wet back seemed like suitable punishment for…I don’t know, not having packed it more carefully, not having done more to persuade “No” voters, and being a terrible person in general. Depression fucks with your head.
The first half of the walk was miserable. I practically growled at a trio of women who asked me to take their photo at the first rest stop. Not my finest moment. I got a bit better in the second half. Exercise helps me, but it takes time for the effects to kick in. I think I managed to recover enough to smile a bit by the end, but I was awful company. I apologize to Abi, and to everyone I glared at on the way.
But we did another 26km walk, which is cool. We gorged ourselves on freshly deep-fried kibbeling afterwards, without fear of calories.