Three years ago, I attempted to climb Snowdon, England and Wales highest mountain, for the first time.
I was unprepared for the experience, supremely unfit, and attempted to climb the mountain during appalling weather conditions with visibility limited to 10 metres.
The outstanding memory of the experience wasn’t the view (well there wasn’t one because of the cloud), and it wasn’t of getting to the summit. It wasn’t even the thrill and pride of conquering England and Wales highest mountain.
The outstanding memory of the experience was sitting on a large rock halfway up the mountain having a complete and utter meltdown. Continue reading
Just a massive massive thank you to everyone who is believing in me and supporting me in the lead up to my #WalkNZ adventure. Continue reading
3,000km. Five to six months. Mountains, forests, knee-high mud, wet river crossings, kayaking, road walking. The legendary Te Araroa trail down the length of New Zealand. How much training is enough?
I put my hands up – I think I’m not doing enough. At least when I was walking up Box Hill last weekend with a 9.5kg backpack on my back it certainly felt like I hadn’t been doing enough.
Annoying, when back in March I’d put together a comprehensive four-month training programme for this adventure. But life gets in the way. I haven’t stuck to it. Actually, I haven’t even come close. Continue reading
I regretted it the moment the hill started to steepen. It was already hot and muggy, and within minutes of climbing through tropical rainforest to the crater lake lookout, I felt like I was slowly being steamed alive. Continue reading
So, it’s just over six weeks until I leave London heading to New Zealand for #WalkNZ.
I’m still excited but the fear and stress is starting to kick in. Continue reading
Photo credit: Iain Gallagher from Lakes Outdoor Experience
The thought of walking 3,000km down the length of New Zealand is equal parts exciting and scary.
Exciting because it’s epic, it’s a challenge and it’s my home country. Scary because it’s seriously hard core, it’s epic, it’s a challenge and mentally I worry about it and whether I can do it.
I chose New Zealand (or rather New Zealand chose me) because it’s where I was born and grew up. In my head, that sits in my comfort zone. I’ve already done some multi-day walks there and experienced New Zealand’s great outdoors so, in my head, the Te Araroa trail sits in my comfort zone. I’ve got friends and family there, there are no dangerous animals like bears, nasty insects, reptiles or diseases. Right now, my comfort zone is so comfy.
When I think of #WalkNZ in these terms, I’m like yeah baby, I can do this.
And then I think of the river crossings. Continue reading
I’ve always been a little trepidatious when it came to kayaking.
Ever since high school when kayaking in the school swimming pool was a component of PE. Physical education, for a geeky teenager who could barely throw a ball to save herself, wasn’t great at the best of times, but the kayaking class was something else.
There I was sat in a kayak, locked in by the spray deck that covered me from the waist down, learning how to capsize and roll the kayak back up.
It didn’t go very well. Continue reading
I don’t need a bully. That nasty someone to belittle me, call me names, tell me I’m no good, that I’m stupid and ugly. Nope, I don’t need a bully – and yet I’m bullied every day.
That’s because I’m my own bully; I’m my own worst enemy.
Since my school days, I’ve barraged myself with negativity, put downs and self-doubt – you’re so uncool, you’re boring, you’re stupid, you’re not attractive, I would tell myself. I’d question what I thought and what I did. I’d tell myself other people were better than me, that I should be more like them, but that I could never be because I wasn’t good enough. Continue reading
I’m saying it, it’s out there – starting in November, I’m going to solo walk the 3,000km Te Araroa trail down the length of New Zealand. Continue reading
It had been an awesome three days in the Auvergne region in France walking a section of the GR400 route and climbing volcanoes.
In three days we had hoped to climb four volcanic peaks as part of my #40by40 quest to climb 40 volcanoes by the age of 40 but we’d only been able to tick off three (because of our leisurely pace) – Puy Mary, Puy Chavaroche, and Puy Griou (the latter hadn’t even been on the original list).
I’d been a little bit gutted that we hadn’t been able to make the last two, Puy du Rocher and Plomb du Cantal, but as I was quickly coming to learn with this challenge, it was no easy street and there were bound to be blips and bumps and failings. I just had to be flexible, not give up, and remember that everything would be ok in the end. Continue reading