As if my aim for this year of walking 1000 miles is not enough, I have decided to join in with several other challenges coming up over the next year or so – Just WALK, a one-day charity event, and Walk 2012, a walk from Weymouth to London to celebrate the London 2012 Olympics.
Despite attempting to be “an outdoor blogger”, I spent a considerable amount of 2010 not being in the outdoors. At the start of the year there was a trip to the Surrey Hills, a trip to Brecon Beacons, a handful of local walks, and of course Offa’s Dyke – but from May onwards… barely anything more than a short dog walk.
There are lots of things I could try and blame: health problems led to a month or so where walking further than a few miles was just not possible, the nature of my work (a freelance web developer) means that it is easy to skip or cut short dog walks and miss out on holidays, and I have been very busy with personal projects of late.
The truth though is that I am not very connected to the countryside. Hiking is a relatively new re-discovery for me – despite years of school hiking trips and Duke of Edinburgh expeditions, I spent my University years and several years afterwards, living in a city. It was only in 2008 that I dug out my hiking boots and headed out into the countryside for a long hike for the first time in years! (ok so I bought new hiking boots, but I am sure you can live with the poetic white lie!)
So it is time to make amends… in 2011 I will walk at least 1000 miles.
I appreciate that quite a few people probably walk 1000 miles a year as a matter of course, but considering my above excuses, I think it will be a suitably achievable yet difficult challenge for me.
By doing this challenge, I am expecting to rebuild that connection that had me roaming about the countryside as a child, to find joy from my daily dog walk rather than often seeing it as a chore, and to find every possible opportunity to just take a walk.
Throughout the challenge I will be posting occasional updates here, as well as writing up any interesting routes. I will also be looking for suggestions of places to walk and volunteers for people to accompany me on hikes.
Happy 2011 everyone!