Walking 1000 miles

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!

6 Replies to “Walking 1000 miles”

  1. This is a great idea Phil, and my inner project manager is happy that you have set a SMART goal!

    I grew up on the coast and was surrounded by gorgeous countryside until 18 when I moved to Borehamwood (just below J23 of the M25, not the London of my dreams!) and gave up my outdoor life to earn stacks of cash (it was the 80s – it was ok to think this way). Somehow I never quite made the millions by the time I was 30, and now find myself landlocked, currently jobless, and a lot less fit than I used to be!

    I rediscovered walking about 3 years ago but alas no dog: I haven’t cracked the home-working thing yet! It’s always great to go back to my Dad’s home and take his daft springer out for a walk on the cliffs.

    Very best of luck with your #1000 miles challenge – are you going to do a Blue Peter style Walkometergraph …you know a thermometer shaped thingy that shows you getting closer to your target?

    Would love to do a few miles with you some day 🙂
    Cheers, Mark

  2. Apologies Mark taking so long to approve and reply to your comment!

    Having a dog is a great motivator to get out walking – but not a requirement!

    Thanks for the good wishes. Very tempted to do a Blue Peter style the thermometer thing!

    Definitely interested in meeting up from walk one day (before next year!)


    1. Hi Jess – thanks for your comment. I got as far as 900 miles before abandoning it in early December. It was a really good way of helping encourage myself to get out walking, although the daily grind of walking 3 miles on the same routes got a little tiresome! If you use social media like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. then sharing your hikes is a good way of finding friends to walk with – I was surprised just how many of mine wanted to meet up for walks. Good luck with your challenge!

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