at three minutes past three on the 8th September, just a week ago today, on the High Peak Trail, the woman who never walked anywhere took her millionth step!! In just over nine weeks I walked 500 miles.
I have walked in the town, the woods, the hills, the dales. I have walked in cities and alongside canals. I have walked along the coast and on the beach. It has been nothing short of amazing. As I walked I became fitter, as I became fitter I walked more.
So, I wonder what next? First I enjoyed basking in the glory of completing such an epic challenge in such a short time. My sponsorship for Diabetes UK has increased too, with a neighbour donating money having seen me on my daily walks for the past nine weeks. I think before I start planning what to do next it is worth taking a moment to reflect on what has happened.
Back in April I was unwell, overweight and unhappy. I found movement painful and spent a lot of time pushing myself through the pain to take part in the most basic everyday things. One day I really had, had enough. I decided to try and eat less and move more. If you have been with me through the blog you will know all this already, but what I didn’t know was how this simple plan, move more eat less would change everything.
Today I am three and a half stone lighter than I was in April. I have energy and a lust for life I previously only dreamt about. My car sits outside my house most days, only being used for trips out of town. I have started a Facebook Group called Women Walking, and have dozens of members encouraging each other to take that first step. It is simply amazing.
The next challenge is to keep up the fitness. I have joined a gym!! Honestly that is amazing in itself, and have learned how much fun moving to music is. I have started swimming again and exercising in the pool is also great fun. I still walk every morning mostly with my good friend who is now also walking every day. All in all the Diabetes UK Million Step Challenge has effected every part of my life. It has given me my body back, it has given me confidence and it has helped me to inspire lots of other friends to walk for health. Truly if I can do this anyone can. I really was the woman who never walked anywhere who now walks everywhere.
I can’t thank the guys at Diabetes UK enough, their support and encouragement meant everything. I don’t want to kid people that this was easy. I had dark days, I walked in the rain and the wind, I walked with blisters on my feet and when I was feeling so tired I just wanted to stay in bed. The reason I carried on was knowing that people were sponsoring me and I had the responsibility to carry on.
The good days outweighed the bad. I have so many memories. Reaching the top of the Great Orme in hot sunshine was amazing. Starting to run instead of walking and managing to breathe as I ran along was fantastic.
This has been the challenge of my life, and it is no exaggeration to say it has changed me for the good forever.