All long distance walkers have beards. I want mine to look like Forrest Gump after 5000 miles. As I am training for my walk now, I thought I would train my beard. Should I shave the night before I leave? Is it cheating to have a beard before growing a beard whilst long distance walking? Too many things to think about…
Father Christmas brought me a pretty hefty cough and cold for me to play with and this put back my training plan by a week which fingers crossed, shouldn’t really have an impact. Being on immune-suppressants usually means that a cold can last weeks, if not months. The other downside for me is that with lingering colds come labyrinthitus which make me very dizzy and not very good at balancing. Not a good side effect to have when setting off coast walking. But, I seem to have shaken the worst of this unexpected Christmas present enough to pop down my local to see the new year in.
By myself at the bar after all the madness had calmed down, it suddenly struck me of the enormity of the task ahead this year. Fear of failure surged. It’s funny how changing “next year” to “this year” can change your focus. I got out my phone and looked at my website but a memory popped into my head.
When I was 18, I quit my nice insurance job in London, bought a rucksack, a book on Europe and a monthly eurotrain pass. There was no plan. My mum was so worried but within a few weeks of the idea, I was boarding the ferry to Calais with no plan and only a couple of hundred pounds. I reached Marseille. Whooop! I was a traveller. I tried ringing home to let my mum know that I was ok but I couldn’t use the French pay phones. A man asked if I needed any help and promptly took most of my money. I was stuck on the steps of Marseille station with virtually no money and just my europass. I slept rough that night and made my way home the next day. My magnificent tour of Europe lasted 3 days. We learn best by from our own mistakes.
Once I had loaded up the website and looked at the map I’d made. I then looked at the spreadsheet and saw how meticulous I had been when planning the route two months ago. The fear subsided. I remembered all the lessons learnt from that 3 day trip. The most important being never speak to a Frenchman unless it is absolutely necessary. 🙂
So only one month to go until the off! I still have so much to do. I have training to do, I have to pack and store my belongings (the BHF shop in Hemel is doing quite well from my possessions), post redirection, change of addresses, press interviews, articles to write for magazines, looking for accommodation for end Feb/March, equipment search, cut my toenails…oh I could go on.
Happy New Year Everyone