Lucy A
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First Big Step of the challenge

Lucy A
Posted by
25 Jan 2017

My first country walk of the challenge!

The decision to start My Peak Challenge, and setting my goal came about in November, since then I have become very conscious about just how big a challenge it will be for me, checking my step count every day, and seeing how lacking it is! Doing experimental one mile walks at the pace I will have to walk, and collapsing in a breathless heap at the end, then realising I will have to do that for ten hours a day with hardly any breaks! 

Daunting doesn't quite cover the feeling! 

As of the 1st of January I set myself the task of walking a minimum of 5km a day. Sounds easy, I know, but sometime my illness flares and I just want to lie in bed all day. It is the 25th of January today and I have walked at least 5km every day bar one (a treacherous night of poorly children,crying cat and getting a bug) 

As I live in a city I have been exploring little countryside pockets, a brisk walk around Jesmond Dene, following a bridle path and making use of the seaside, but as January nears to an end I made the decision to up my game. Serious countryside rambles were required, with hills and the potential to get lost....

After a brief Google this morning I set off in glorious sunshine and my favourite bobble hat to Bolam Lake, just outside of Belsay. I had discovered a walk further up the road going to Shaftoe Crags/Moor in my googling session and it looked challenging and interesting. 

After a quick walk around the pretty lake I set off along the road with only a photo of my starting point in my head, luckily a sign pointed the way and I was off. It was just what I hoped for, boggy muddy patches galore, heather and ferns tangling my legs, Crags to climb over as well as the off fence or wall when I wanted to see something somewhere else. 

I discovered mini caves, fascinating Crags, a standing stone, prehistoric settlements, beautiful views and didn't get attacked by sheep once! I was so focused on discovering everything I forgot to be tired! It was only as I approached the car that I realised I was in fact quite exhausted, but also that I had walked (and leaped, and climbed and stumbled)  constantly for over three and a half hours. 

My lesson is that if I can find new and exciting places to explore I can push myself further than walking well known routes as my curiosity is bigger than my feeble body. 

I am now really excited about my challenge, I m going to constantly look for new places to discover and explore which will make the next 8 months even more enjoyable! 

Bolem Lake - Country Walk
Shaftoe Crags

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