I’ve been the interviewee but never the interviewer. I decided 2018 was the year to take the leap into interviewing and in the manner of a small child doing a school project decided to start by interviewing my mum. She’s generally pretty inspirational but on this occasion I wanted to focus on one of her great achievements of 2017; walking 1000 miles.
What gave you the idea to walk 1000 miles?
I had a new subscription to Country Walking magazine and they were launching this challenge. Initially, because I walk a lot, I thought it would be easy but I had to plan extra miles.
When did you start your challenge?
When did you finish your challenge? What was your ‘last mile’?
In December 2017, while I can’t specifically remember the last mile it would have been at some point during an outing with my Nordic walking group, maybe somewhere between Rickling Green and Wicken Bonhunt in Essex.
What did you count as ‘mileage’ and how did you record it?
My mileage had to be a planned walk, not pottering around the garden. Many miles were done in the local countryside but if I put my boots on to walk I would record that mileage, probably rounded down rather than up.
What did you find the biggest challenge was?
Not doing enough miles in the first 2 months so there was more pressure on the autumn mileage and I couldn’t afford to be ill.
Did you have any favourite walks over the year?
The longer walks in the Cotswolds and Swanage (as part of the Purbeck Nordic Walking Festival) were memorable but so were the miles in Glasgow! The Purbeck Nordic Walking Festival was particularly memorable as I received an honorable mention for being the first woman across the line for my distance and age.
How did you make time for walking?
I am retired so I have time but there still needs to be a plan to walk. It could still be easy to ‘take the car’ rather than plan to walk into town.
Would you do it again?
Yes, and more this year because I now enjoy walking because of the rhythm you develop, the feeling of well-being from getting outside, thinking about what you see nearby and looking at horizons, clouds, trees…
What advice would you give to someone thinking about giving the challenge a try this year?
If you are not sure aim for 500 miles and just walk, whether it is 2 miles or 4 miles those short walks near where you live begin to add up in a very satisfying way. I would also advise being creative with your walking for example using public transport as part of your walk.
Have you set yourself any challenges for 2018?
Yes, to keep on walking almost daily, do a longer distance walk or two, walk on my own and with others, explore new places especially cities.
Thanks Mum and congratulations on a brilliant achievement. Can’t wait to walk some of your miles with you in 2018. If you fancy taking part in the challenge this year there is an excellent website that you can find here. If you would like more information on Nordic walking (something my mum swears by) you can find it here.