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Enjoy the journey

09 Jul 2015

Last weekend I took part in the Wirral Coastal Walk. The first coastal walk was organised in 1986 and from it starting with a few hundred walkers it has since grown to become a well known event in Wirral. In 2014 approximately 2,500 walkers took part and around £200,000 was raised for local and national charities.  The walk starts at Seacombe Ferry on the River Mersey to Wirral Country Park Visitor Centre at Thurstaston, a total distance of 15 miles.

The main attraction of the event apart from the exercise and the opportunity to view the beautiful Wirral coastline, is that participants raise money through sponsorship for charity and for many local organisations and charities, the walk has become a significant event in their money-raising calendar.

Despite being born, growing up and spending the majority of my life on the Wirral, last year was the first year that I had taken part in this now annual event. My decision to take part was based on the fact that I wanted to improve by fitness by training for it but mainly because I wanted to raise funds for our local hospice, Wirral St John's. My friend and I started training for the walk a few months before and we completed the 15 miles in five hours. 

This year we decided to take part again and since the beginning of April we have been out walking in all weathers most Sunday mornings to build up our stamina. Last year I was really excited to take part and felt a real sense of achievement having completed the whole distance. This year I have felt excited again however I also had some feelings of anxiousness. In the few weeks before the walk, I had had a bad cold and wasn't feeling 100%, plus my energy levels felt quite low.  I started to put pressure on myself as I really wanted to do the 15 miles again but I was worried my fitness wasn't at the level it was last year.  Within the walk there is the option to complete the walk at four, ten or 15 miles and my family and friends were telling me to do what I could. I didn't want to let people down who were sponsoring me, knowing that I had done the whole distance previously and doing it again was really important to me. 

Our minds and emotions are powerful things and I knew that whilst I didn't feel as fit as last time, it really was mind over matter. I told myself that whatever distance I completed on the day was absolutely fine. It was about being prepared and knowing I'd put the effort in of training beforehand, taking part and doing the very best that I could do at the time. The walk was after all also something to be enjoyed. Sometimes we get so caught up in the end result and the goal that we set ourselves that we forget to enjoy the experience of getting there. Whilst some pressure to achieve a goal is good, it is important to keep that pressure in check otherwise it can have a negative effect. It is about using your judgement wisely and making an informed decision and doing what is right for you at the time. I decided if I was struggling and needed to stop after the four or ten miles then that was what I would do.

When I started the walk my mindset had completely changed and I'm pleased to say that I did complete the 15 miles again in approximately the same time as last year. Although the last mile or so was a bit of a struggle, I was so determined that I would get it done. I also took time along the way to be grateful for the fact that I live in lovely place with some great views. 
We all have goals and achievements that we are working towards whether this is in our personal or professional lives. This weekend's walk has reinforced to me that whilst we must keep those goals in our sights, it is also about enjoying the experience and journey of getting there too

Tagged In: Events, Finance
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