Hello. I’m a 39-year-old barrister and mother of two small children (Rowan aged 4, and Isaac aged 1). This year I decided to walk from Land’s End to John O’Groats, a distance of just over 1200 miles, over ten weeks. My partner Arran has nobly offered to accompany me, with both children, in a borrowed caravan. This blog is my record of the walk and the experience.
Although the LEJOG walk is something I’ve been thinking about doing for ages, there are many reasons why I decided that 2014 was the year. Some are mundane – my daughter will start school in September so this is the last year we can all take off for a few months as a family without getting into trouble, I need to lose the ‘baby’ weight (in reality, years of under-exercise and over-eating) and to get fit. But this walk also represents, for me, an opportunity to do some serious thinking. About my life, my family, my work and how to balance them; about what I want to achieve in life; about how I can come back to London and live more sustainably in the future.
I’ve never done anything remotely like this, and I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about the prospect. I’m about 3 stone overweight, have never as an adult done anything like regular exercise, and I’ve never done a long-distance walk for more than 10 days at a time. I’m also a very impatient person; I like things to move fast, and to move on from one thing to another when I get bored. In many ways the prospect of a long slow effort over 10 weeks, one step at a time, rain or shine or blisters, is the most daunting thing about embarking on the walk. I’m hoping that the discipline of walking, day after day, and learning to accommodate the slow passage of time and distance, will help me to learn to be more patient in other areas of my life.