This is honestly not something that I thought I would do. While I have always enjoyed walks while I’ve been out there, I have to say I’ve always preferred to be tucked up at home – usually in front of the TV.
However, after reading a book by Cheryl Strayed called “Wild – a Journey from Lost to Found”, I got really inspired to start hiking. This is a link to the book (I get a small something if you buy anything from Amazon after using my link).
I can’t quite put my finger on what it was that inspired me. I think it was the idea of being out in nature, in the wilderness – just you and whatever you had in your back pack. I think it was partly the therapeutic aspect of being outside. Partly I really identified with the girl in the book (it’s a true story) – while I didn’t lose anyone close to me, I did lose 18 years of marriage and have to redefine who I was. I also felt the need to soul search and figure out who I am. But also I liked the idea of challenging myself. Of seeing how far I can go.
So I started hiking a couple of weeks ago. I did a 5 mile walk a week last Sunday. I’ve been doing a couple of miles a couple of times a week with the pup and on Sunday just gone I took the kids on a 4.75 mile hike and it was brilliant. I anticipated lots of moaning but they were actually really good. We had a fantastic time!
As you know, if you know me, I don’t really do things in halves so it wasn’t enough for me just to decide to start hiking on weekends. I needed a challenge, to put myself to the test. And so I joined a hiking Facebook group and asked around, and came across the MacMillan Mighty Hikes. While the “head in the clouds” version of me would love to go off into the wilderness on my own, like the girl in the book, in truth I know I wouldn’t last 2 minutes. I don’t know how to use a compass and I haven’t got a clue how to set up a tent. And also I can’t disappear for months on end as I have kids and responsibilities. So I decided that a day hike that is well-organised, would be a better option.
And I get to raise money at the same time for a very good cause!
So I got out my old walking boots which I bought for Glastonbury a few years ago:
On Monday after school Alara and I went shopping to Primark and on the way I popped into Blacks and bought a trekking top, some spare boot laces and some hiking socks.
My dad says he has a lot of the stuff I need for the hike – hiking poles, a waterproof coat and over trousers, a head lamp, so hopefully I won’t need to buy much. Just some shorts and some more hiking socks like the ones I bought on Monday.
I’m really excited about it. I do hope you will wish me luck.
Here is my Just Giving page if you would like to sponsor me.