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As many of you know, I recently undertook the challenge to walk The Jurassic Way from Stamford to Banbury, which is a total of 88 miles in aid of the charity – Women Acting in Today’s Society (WAITS).

I had to carry everything I needed to survive for the week including shelter, clothing, food and water – just like many of the women who are fleeing from either domestic abuse, facing homelessness, or a past that they want to change. Fortunately, unlike many of the women who WAITS help, I was joined by two friends – Julia and Rebecca.

Testing times

When you originally commit to doing something different in your life, you are almost swept along by the planning and preparation and it’s not until the challenge begins that you start to feel nervous and some feelings of self-doubt creep in.  However, as I look back on the 7 days, I see that the challenge fluctuated between being a real test of strength at times – as the exhaustion kicked in, and a complete joy – when the fun happened or the laughter was unleashed.

For those of you that remember the weather the week commencing 4 July, it was not always kind to us. It went from beautiful blue skies and sunshine to torrential downpours, or worse still persistent rain that lasted all day. But whilst the rain did dampen my spirits on some occasions meaning that I went quiet, what kept me going was the fact that I was helping other people much worse off than me. After all I had chosen to take part in this challenge, whereas the people I was raising money for didn’t choose to be abused.

My nemesis

The terrain was also variable, there were some big hills to climb and the going underfoot got a little slippery at times too and then there was the nemesis of all walkers – a blister!  Plus, we had to rescue some sheep and highland cows and fit in some much-needed stops enroute to rest, eat, sleep and take stock of everything. But throughout it all, I was proud of the fact that I developed some new ways of coping and learnt to rely on my colleagues to keep me focused on the end goal.

Walking the Jurassic way was a great experience and one where I learnt a few things that will prove useful in other future challenges that I may face. These are:

·         Whatever you do it needs to be done at your own pace, otherwise it becomes more of a chore than an achievement

·         The lighter your load, the easier it is to navigate life

·         Believing you can achieve something, gives you that extra determination to succeed

·         Having support gets you through even the most difficult moments

Making a difference

So, when we finished in Banbury, I felt a huge amount of pride at my achievement. Because whilst my pack was heavy and my legs were tired, my heart was light and I knew that my efforts would make a real difference to others less fortunate than myself.

A big thank you to those people who have donated generously in recent weeks. I know that the women who WAITS helps will be grateful for your kindness and support. If anyone else would like to sponsor me, please use this link

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