Call yourself a long-distance walker?

ruth livingstone walking downcast, ashamed to be called a long distance walkerUp until now, I regarded walking as something I do when I go on my coastal expeditions. I walk around the coast. That’s what I do. And I rarely walk anywhere else. Indeed, I call all non-coast ramblings wasted walking!

Names are important. The labels you attach to things – and the labels you attach to yourself – really do matter.

Foolishly, I had started to call myself a long-distance walker. And then I took a look at the Long Distance Walkers’ Association web site. Wow. These people walk 25 miles, 50 miles, 100 miles – all in one go!

A few days of looking at walking sites, reading accounts of long distance walks, and seeing what my fellow walkers get up to, led to a growing sense of embarrassment. Call yourself a long-distance walker? And you can only manage 12 miles or so – 15 if it’s really flat? Shame on you.

The ground had shifted. My attitude changed. I began to look for a way of increasing my stamina and extending my walking distances and I realised I would have to alter my habits. So, instead of forgetting about walking until my next walking expedition, I am signing up for challenges and putting in some serious mileage in the meantime. (Well, OK, serious for me!)

My first challenge: Stroud Five Valleys walk of 21 miles.
My second challenge: to walk a total of 200 miles in September.
My third challenge: …. don’t know yet.

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