Reflections on a challenge
Today I went to Filey. I wanted to spend some time thinking back over the last 12 months, what I’d achieved, how I’d achieved it and where it had taken me.
This time last year I set myself the challenge of walking and wild camping the Cleveland Way. My objective was to raise £10,000 to be split equally between two amazing York charities that support vulnerable children.
The Cleveland Way finishes it’s 109 mile route at Filey and it felt appropriate to return to the spot where I finally came to rest with a glass (or two) or bubbly. This is a pic of the finishing point at Filey Brigg.
From start to finish it was a tough challenge. I’d never done anything like this before and I spent months walking bits of the route to see how long it would take me and where I could camp. I eventually had it planned right down to the final detail and off I started on 2nd June 2018 with 7 days of walking and 6 nights of camping in the wild ahead of me.
I learned a number of things along the way:
Baby steps in my planning because it was a huge endeavour for me and there was no way I could get it planned quickly and easily. Every day I did a little bit more towards getting started. Sometimes it was walking part of the route to check out a camping spot; sometimes it was shopping for my back pack (a huge one!); sometimes it was holding a fundraiser or shouting about my plans on social media. Whatever it was, it took me 8 months in total but I made sure that every day and every baby step I took mattered.
Baby steps during the walk because however hard it was, and it was very very hard, I kept reminding myself that every step forward was now a step behind me and would never have to be taken again. Every baby step I took, whether uphill, downhill, or out of my tent in the morning, was one that never needed to be taken again. However small each step was each and every one of them propelled me forward toward my ultimate goal.
I simply couldn’t have done it by myself. The people that supported me and quite literally held my hand leading up to and during the walk were my lifeline.
The people who walked alongside me for a while, who brought me cake and bacon butties, who wiped away my tears, who made me laugh, who sang songs with me, who gave me big hugs, and who kept me going when it just felt too hard. Those people made this happen for me. Those people were part of my success. We were a team and we rocked!
EVERYONE NEEDS A MANTRA
Whenever it felt hard (which it always was) I could be heard muttering my mantra to myself. ‘Right, crack on!’ worked wonders for me. At every point where I was just too tired to walk any further I spoke it out loud to myself. Every time I wanted to stop but couldn’t I repeated it again, ‘right, let’s crack on!’ It became my mantra for the walk and it is now my mantra in my business and in life.
THE BIG PICTURE MATTERS
I remember my lowest point. I was sat in my tent in floods of tears, it was foggy (again) I’d had no sleep at all, my body ached and I couldn’t imagine taking even one more step. I could have gone home. I phoned my hubby who counselled me well but who I knew would always come and get me if I asked him to. I wanted to go home so badly it hurt!!! BUT at the back of my mind I remembered my ‘WHY’. I remembered the charities I was walking for and why it was so important to me. I remembered the people I was accountable to and how I would feel if I just gave up. I remembered how much money people had already donated.
I knew that giving up now because of how I felt in that moment was not what I really wanted. What I really wanted was to complete my challenge. So, I got up, packed away my tent, dragged my back pack onto my back again (all 11 kilos of it) and kept going.
Nothing can stop me now. My mantra keeps me moving forward, my baby steps are propelling me towards my goals, my team rock, and I know my big picture!
I’m sure you’ll be delighted to hear that I eventually hit and surpassed by target by raising £10,089 plus gift aid.
Don’t you just love a challenge?!