I am going on a journey. It's going to be transformational and I want you to join me. Together we are going to walk more than 400 kilometres (250 miles) including up and down hills. Yes, some of those hills will be steep.
The destination for this journey is an Ultrachallenge (25km, 42km, 50km or 100km) or the London Moonwalk (42km). At the end of all the training you will be physically and mentally able to take part in any ultra-distance walk, just for fun. And once you achieve that, you will know you can achieve whatever you set your mind to.
In 2017 some friends and I took on the Moonwalk (42km), London to Brighton (56km) and Oxfam Trailwalker (100km). This was life changing. During our training we discovered the mind and life expanding power of walking and talking. We learnt so much about ourselves and each other. We gave each other different perspectives. We also got physically fit. Crossing each finish line was absolutely awesome. It felt so great to achieve what once seemed like crazy goals.
I would love you to have this amazing feeling. This journey will take some effort. It is a challenge. It won't always be convenient or easy. But it will be life changing.
If you are still reading I suggest that you settle in with a cup of tea, as it is going to take another five minutes to give you the details.
Our commitment is 3 times a week for 15 weeks. On Monday evening and Wednesday morning we will meet at Sheen Gate. Walks last up to one and a half hours. Sometimes we will walk fast. On Sunday mornings we start at varying locations to complete long steady distance walks. Initially two hours, progressing to eight hours of walking. This is where the magic happens. Being out of your comfort zone, walking and talking with other people, you will have time to discuss anything and everything.
There is also a weekend where we can walk for eight hours on Saturday and then do it all again on Sunday. Imagine how great that will be. A whole weekend in the fresh air, expanding your horizons and connecting with people. Time on your feet is an important aspect of this training.
During this training your joints will become more mobile, your muscles will get stronger, and your mind will get clearer. You may even lose weight (assuming you have weight to lose). You will exceed the World Health Organisation’s weekly exercise target. Like most good walks you will barely remember where you started.
You will get to know new people. We will laugh and have fun. There will be tough times for us to get through together and tough hills to climb. You will bring your unique perspective. You’ll need patience with yourself and tolerance of others. You will get the mental health benefits of fresh air and connection with others as well as adventure, comradery and enthusiastic encouragement. There will be so much talking that you may forget you are walking.
The training organisation and logistics are done for you. I will plan the schedule and walking routes, set the pace, provide advice, keep track of your progress, help to solve any logistics issues and send reminders. My job is to make it easy for you to show up (the hard part) and walk the distance. I will hold you accountable and keep you going. I am your biggest cheerleader; I want you to succeed.
"Anything acquired without effort and without cost is generally unappreciated. Often discredited." This quote from Napolean Hill tells an important story about motivation, commitment and achievement.
The overriding goal here is commitment. You are more likely to complete the journey if you have fully committed yourself to showing up 3 times a week for the full 15 weeks.
If you are still reading then I can safely say that you are crazy and therefore you are exactly the right person for this journey. I can't wait to start walking with you.