“I’m thinking of doing something and I’m not sure if it’s a bit crazy.”
That’s the sort of message you get from your friend and you know straight away that you’re about to be roped into doing something that you would probably never have decided on by yourself.
I got that very message from one of my best friends when she told me about the epic challenge of walking from London to Brighton that she wanted to do. My initial instinct was hell no, I barely walk from the sofa to the kitchen. My second reaction was, she’s one of my best friends – her ridiculous ideas are my ridiculous ideas! Yes it’s crazy and it’s going to be incredibly difficult but, if I wanted to do it then I’d want her to be on board.
“Yeah, absolutely, I’m in.” A response I would regret the minute we started our first training walk.
I’m the kind of person that if I’m doing a challenge, I’m probably not going to prepare all that much because I like to just throw myself into things. Fortunately I’m also realistic enough to know that this isn’t one of those challenges I can just throw myself into. I knew that this one was going to take a little more effort and dedication on my part.
When my friend text me to ask if I was up for a training walk I said of course because I know we’re gonna need it. I then looked up the route she was suggesting and realised it was an 8.5 hour walk – over 20 miles. I very quickly responded with “absolutely not!” I suggested we should probably ease ourselves a little more into this because she might be used to exercise, but I sure as hell am not! Instead of her crazy 8.5 hour plans, I suggested a slightly easier 3 hour alternative, 7 miles.
Now I know 7 miles is barely a dent on the 60 that we’re going to be walking for the main event but I figured it was enough of a push that we would feel it but not so crazy that we wouldn’t be able to complete it!
We did our first training walk and I’m a little embarrassed to admit that it was harder than I expected. Don’t get me wrong, we smashed it. According to Google maps, our planned route should have taken us 3 hours to complete the 7 miles, we did it in just over 2. I’m proud of us for that in itself, but I’m a little shocked at how much I felt it. My feet were red raw and are now covered in blisters, all of my muscles ache and I was sweating more than I thought was possible for a Sunday afternoon stroll..
All of that said, I am proud of us. I’m proud that we stuck by our plans and didn’t try to wimp out at the last minute, I’m proud that we completed it in a quicker time than expected but above all, I’m pretty proud that we did it. I know for some people, 7 miles is nothing, but for this chocolate loving, sofa slothing gal, it was quite the achievement!
The main London to Brighton walk isn’t until may 2020 but I think we need the gentle incline approach to training so we are going to work on building ourselves up and going a little further each time. I plan to share our training journey on here so stick around if you’re interested in seeing sweaty faced selfies and hearing about sore feet and achy muscles!
If, on the off chance, you fancy sponsering us in memory of my friends grandfather using the link below then that would be so appreciated and incredible.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve done? How did you prepare yourself for it?
Love, Alice x