Growing up, I played most team sports: Football, Cricket Hockey Basketball. (Copying whatever my brothers were doing and annoying them at the same time!). As I got older, I moved into coaching and coached team sports to both children and adults.
Then, I developed some underlying health problems and decided that I needed to keep healthy. I took up walking and running, struggling with both. I persevered and now I am waking over 10 miles every other day and am running 10K on average, 3 to 4 times a week.
I have always played team sports but regular running and long-distance walking and has meant I have really had to dig deep and build up my stamina gradually. I won a grant from ‘Adventure Queens’. My personal challenge is to walk the Pennine Way, which I plan to do in Summer 2021. This will be my first multi-day hiking adventure and will be a real challenge for me, as I have to carefully manage my health as well as all the other considerations.
I started seriously training for this challenge just after coming out of shielding due to COVID 19. I have been running and walking, learning to map read, researching and identifying the different equipment needed to do the Pennine Way. It’s opened up a whole new world, I feel like a toddler learning a wealth of new things, (not a 50+ women). I just hope I don’t spit my dummy out when I’m struggling with those hills, the Rain and my sore feet!!
For me, walking and running are also about encouraging other people to participate in the Outdoors. Yes, I have fears, just like everyone else, when trying something new. My initial fear is failure: not completing the Pennine Way. My other fear is being on my own for long periods of time. (… and getting lost and then having to call out Mountain Rescue!)
I have taken time to plan my Adventure carefully and think that sharing it with others is all part of the process. Enabling me to enjoy it and remember it for a multitude of reasons. I am not training for the Marines, nor am I training to do The Spine Race. It’s for me, it’s MY time, MY Adventure.
To think that this time last year, I was struggling to walk for more than a couple of hours at a time, now I walk over 10 miles every other day and run, on average, 10KM 3 to 4 times a week. Yes! Me!
The training I do has allowed me to stay close to home. I am walking and running in my local area, getting to know my neighbours. I get lost in my own thoughts. I notice the changes in the different seasons. I am aware of my own limitations, but persistence and a training regime is allowing me to achieve my personal Goals.
This a significant personal challenge, as when I was a young woman, walking in the countryside was not culturally accessible for me. It was just not something we did. It is only as an Adult that I have had the confidence to start walking in the countryside. It’s a whole new world that’s opened up on my doorstep. I foresee this being the start of many outdoor challenges for me.