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21.08.2019- What Walking Has Taught Me

If you follow me on Instagram, you might be aware that back in May, accompanied by some truly amazing work friends and in support of the wonderful Jolene, I took part in Trekstock’s Big Urban Trek. The premise was simple- a (hopefully!) sunny Saturday, with a ten mile trek route across London, from Greenwich Grind to Move Your Frame in King’s Cross. What I hadn’t anticipated at that time was just how much walking with this group of people would become something of a permanent fixture in my diary and how rewarding I would find it too; from our first training walk in April to now, I think we’ve amassed a good many miles more than any of us would have anticipated when we signed up for the original trek. 

There’s something really primal about walking, and I think we’re so often caught up in moving towards certain goals or destinations that we often forget just how important the journey to get there is. During the week, I can easily rack up an average of five or six miles a day from home to work and back again, but I always find myself rushing too much to actually think about the process of putting one foot in front of the other. I think the same can be said of almost everyone in a big city- with the combination of needing to be somewhere ASAP with the obligation of avoiding eye contact or conversation with anyone whatsoever compounding this lack of awareness- and that’s without even factoring in the eyes-glued-to-the-phone zombies ambling along the pavement which very often serve as the stem of my London-orientated angst.

The simple process of putting one foot in front of the other is one which I think is really important for life in general, and walking mindfully over the last few months has helped me to decompress a lot at the weekends- forgetting all of the little things which tend to worry me and just focusing on reaching the end of the route. So far, we've trekked from Richmond to Hammersmith, and from Amberley to Arundel in West Sussex, and I've also bolstered these rambles with lots of activity in Ireland and Scotland too- including climbing some pretty big hills. It's honestly been a hugely rewarding experience, and one which has also allowed each of us the opportunity to talk properly and without any distractions- as well as motivating each other to keep going!

With this in mind, last month I signed up to the Miles for Refugees challenge which is being organised by the British Red Cross for the month of September. I've chosen the 108 mile challenge- equivalent to the distance from Calais to London, which I can accumulate in a combination of running, swimming, cycling and walking. I'm really eager to get started and to have another challenge to take on- ten times larger than The Big Urban Trek but one which I hope will prove just as rewarding- especially as the cause is so worthwhile. There are more details here- and if you'd like to sponsor me, you can do so here. Thank you! 

Have you set yourself any long-term challenges recently? 

(Image credit: Sarah Farrell, please do not reproduce without permission.)


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