Before we look back at the first set of entries in my journal from 2009, please pause for a moment and pray with me for everyone at Fort Hood, Texas, following yesterday afternoon's events...
Gracious Lord, in blessed repose, grant eternal rest to your faithful servants who lost their lives, and lay your strengthening, healing hands on those injured. Father, we pray for your guidance and strength for those treating the injured on site and at Scott and White hospital and all those investigating what happened. Enfold everyone involved, their families, friends and the wider community in your ever loving, comforting arms and amid the shock and distress, may there be some peace and restfulness. In your Holy Name we pray ~ Amen
The original "Step by Step" journal was posted to a discussion board on Facebook in one of the groups that I was admin of at the time.
November 27, 2009 - 31 days to go!
I have today been asked to walk Hadrian's Wall, England, in just 31 days time. A distance of 85 miles in 6 days, in the depth of the British winter (we're camping). The offer came via email from a complete stranger, Seb, and I must be mad, but I've accepted the challenge!
The charity I'm fundraising for is the UK based "HELP for HEROES", which helps injured military personnel. It's a cause close to my heart. As you will all know, I'm a proud supporter of the military.
We will begin the walk on December 28, 2009 and finish on January 2, 2010. What a way to see in the new year!
November 28, 2009 - Walk minus 30 days!
I thought long and hard yesterday before accepting Seb's offer (which came from nowhere) of a place on the walk. Things I had to consider where:
* Am I mentally, as well as physically strong enough to do this?
* The walk starts in just 31 days (then) and I'm not currently training.
* 84 miles over 6 days, at an average of 14 miles a day.
* CAMPING in the depths of a UK winter, with temps below 30° looking at the long term forecast.
* The oldest on the team by some 9 years.
* Though I'm based in the UK, I live by US central time, so would have to readjust to UK time. No good hiking with jet lag!
* I'll be away from all those I love for 6 days over New Years. This will be really tough.
There are so many reasons why I SHOULD do it:
* This will give me the chance to get out there, and do something I love doing.
* I was really upset at having to postpone in August.
* I had planned to do this very walk in May next year.
* This offer has come completely as a surprise. I didn't even know Seb until I got the email from him.
* I'm a proud supporter of the military.
* I've been a supporter of the charity, "HELP for HEROES", since it was formed. I didn't even take my wristband off when my daughter was born.
* I know I'll always regret it if I don't do it.
* Even though I'll be away physically from those I love, I'll be with them, as they will be with me.
I did my first training session today, a 12 mile hike that I finished in just 2 hours! When I woke at 5:00 am, I felt exhausted. Thankfully, I went back to sleep. I was woken just after 6:00 by a text message from Seb. I was out the door by 6:30 am. Fully determined to give this EVERYTHING I've got.
I CAN do this! I WILL do this!
Thanks to everyone for your support!
November 29, 2009 - Walk minus 29 days! Rest day.
Slept in this morning, I'd finished the 12 miler yesterday by the time I even woke up this morning!
Yesterday afternoon, I started sending messages to friends, informing them of the hike.
I also started looking into travel arrangements yesterday, and I'll only change back to UK time in the days before Christmas, when I'll be resting anyway.
Thanks again for your support everyone!
November 30, 2009 - Walk minus 28 days!In my next post, I will be revealing the nature of this year's challenge, AT LAST! Thanks for your patience in awaiting the reveal! I'll also be sharing what my training at this point involves and how I see it developing over the coming months.
Yep, this time in just 4 weeks we'll be well into, and maybe almost finished day 1!
I've this morning done the same 12 mile training hike as I did on Saturday (- 30 days). Did it in just UNDER 2 hours this time, too.
I've now worked out a rough schedule for my training, right up until the hike starts:
Mon 11/30: 12 miles (today)
Tue 12/1: At least 10, maybe 12 miles
Wed 12/2: REST DAY
Thur 12/3: 10/12 miles
Fri 12/4: 12 miles
Sat 12/5: 12 miles
Sun 12/6: REST DAY
Mon 12/7: 12 miles
Tue 12/8: 4 miles
Wed 12/9: REST DAY
Thur 12/10: 12 miles
Fri 12/11: 12 miles
Sat 12/12: 12 miles
Sun 12/13: REST DAY
Mon 12/14: 12 miles
Tue 12/15: 12 miles
Wed 12/16: 6 miles MINIMUM
Thur 12/17: 12 miles
Fri 12/18: 12 miles
Sat 12/19: 12 miles
Sun 12/20: REST DAY
Mon 12/21: 12 miles
Tue 12/22: 6 miles MINIMUM
Wed 12/23: REST DAY - back to UK time
Thur 12/24: REST DAY
Fri 12/25: 6 miles MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!
Sat 12/26: REST DAY
Sun 12/27: Travel up north
Mon 12/28: HIKE DAY 1
Tue 12/29: HIKE DAY 2
Wed 12/30: HIKE DAY 3
Thur 12/31: HIKE DAY 4
Fri 01/01: HIKE DAY 5. HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!
Sat 1/2: HIKE DAY 6 - FINISH
Sun 1/3: Travel home - SLEEP
Mon 1/4: Back to US Central time
Even looking at it like that, I'm tired! But, I'm also immensely proud to see what I will have achieved.
If you'd like to take a look at where we'll be hiking, take a look here:
Thanks again for your support everyone. It really gives me even more strength and determination, knowing you're all with me.