By the time you will have seen this post, I’ll be traveling down to Pembrokeshire for The Big Retreat Wales where I’ll be clocking up some miles around Lawrenny.
I wanted to write this post to celebrate my milestone but also share some memorable walking moments.
I Will Walk….
I don’t feel as though I’ve walked 407 miles. That’s a good thing I think. The first part of the year saw the pup and I on a mission to walk every day so I could clock up 25 miles a week. That didn’t always go to plan but it got me over the 250 mark!
As Spring came and the garden needed some TLC, I found myself ‘pottering’. Those pottering miles soon start to add up! I decided not to count those miles as I wanted to make my walk 1000 challenge all about the scenery. And, whilst my garden is beautiful, especially with my flowers flourishing, I didn’t have my ‘boots on.’
I’ll Walk Some More….
Whilst I have slowed down a tad, I walked over 50 miles whilst in Italy especially with trips to Venice and the Dolomites. I loved the change of terrain in Venice – flat and narrow streets with something to eat on every corner. Lake Misurina located in Belluno with the epic Dolomites as the backdrop was a stunning walk with the freshest of air, I’ve ever inhaled.
The other miles have been walked locally around the Ceiriog Valley and the Berwyns. I’ve done some woodland walking too. One of my favourites was around Easter time at Guilsfield in Mid Wales where the bluebells create a sea of calmness. We seem to do this every year- it’s our tradition. I certainly mustn’t forget walking up mountain Garn Fadryn whilst I was glamping. We also enjoyed some coastal and beach walking at the delightful and pretty Whistling Sands.
Walk it off…
My funniest walking moment (not at the time) was when I decided to embark on a 6-mile round trip to go and see a potential new client in Shrewsbury. I was convinced I’d got the contract as they’d practically said so in an earlier email hence me traveling to see them. It rained lots that day but it didn’t matter, I was getting healthy and gaining a new client! I turned up some hours later, partially looking like a drowned rat and wet feet (since my best shoes had leaked) only to be told they’d sent me the wrong email and they had someone else in mind…. I took a bus back to Chirk and decided to ‘walk it off’ with a 5-mile canal walk along the Llangollen canal. I did 11 miles in total that day.
Italy saw me eat lots of Pizza and I ate away the good work that walking had physically done for me.
Forgive my hair…
That said, my lungs feel robust! As a child, I suffered from asthma and although I grew out of it, it’s left me with deflated lungs. Hills and mountains have always been a real struggle however it’s something I’ve been determined to conquer since my move from the city to the countryside.
Just because you slow down or even stop it doesn’t mean your body won’t remember the effort you’ve put in. I generally still get to the top of a hill without resembling a blueberry colour. I hadn’t realised to the full extent of how my lack of fitness has stopped me from setting myself outdoor based goals – I just didn’t have the confidence. It’s taken me a good 5 years to gradually build my mental resilience up. Walking has gently eased me into exercising regularly and taking on ‘challenges’ I wouldn’t normally have attempted. Taking a camera out with me has also helped – I’m motivated by visuals and the feelings that nature brings me. Not forgetting some of the interesting folk I’ve met along the way.
Onwards We Walk…
My next goal is to complete an accredited hills and moorland walking skills residential in Capel Curig next weekend. It’s a big deal for me – I’ll be walking with people I don’t know and there will be no relying on my lovely Rik who’s helped me lots throughout my continued journey.
These are life experience you can’t make up….
My thoughts are with every single one of you who are undergoing challenges in your life for the good or the not so good but remember, it’s character building.
See you at 500!