Walking for five or six hours at a time at least once a week takes some motivation. Unfortunately this weekend I didn’t have it. Over the last five and a half years I must have walked getting on for seven or eight thousand miles, I would guess, and it has helped me in so many ways, especially after achieving different challenges. But despite having another one coming up in the second weekend of September, I am really struggling to build up any enthusiasm for it.
Of course, I do have a reasonable level of fitness and I just need to maintain it and then turn up and walk it. Sounds simple but I know it isn’t. Often the fear of failure spurs me into action but not at the moment. It is sad for me to say that I was actually happy to use the weather as an excuse for not getting out and plodding for 15-20 miles. And it may be the same next weekend but I must force myself to do it, otherwise I can kiss goodbye to finishing the Thames Path Challenge. I know that I will be motivated and determined on 9-10 September but there is some work to do before then. The Travelodge is booked and leave arrangements made with work for a few days recovery.
I mused yesterday during one of the three episodes of the Columbo triple bill on 5USA that it would be far easier for me if I was a runner, since 7 or 8 miles in an hour and a bit, which was my staple many many years ago, would indeed take me only an hour and a bit and therefore the weather would not be an issue, simply finding the clear period during a gloomy day. It is a bit different to walk six hours in intermittently heavy rain. I have decided to take a break from long distance walking after the September challenge, do a bit of gym work now and again instead, and ponder what I really want to do.
Earlier in the week, I thought about the ambition I have had of becoming the oldest person ever to walk from Land’s End to John O’Groats, or more likely the reverse this time. The last time I looked the record was held by a man aged 74 years and a few days but I see now that the record is held by an Anthony Allsop at 75 years 88 days. I imagine it might stretch further into the late 70s in the next few years as life expectancy and healthy life expectancy increase. I looked on the ONS website last week and saw that my own life expectancy is around 86 years – though that is an average for a 53-year old male, and doesn’t take into account lifestyle factors. I have something like an 80 per cent chance of reaching 75, incidentally, again an average blah blah blah. Dedication, that’s what you need, and what I need to get back.
However, it is hard to see beyond 10 September 2017 at the moment, let alone some dates in 2039. I did get a boost today of a very good £25 donation from two of my Fantasy Football compatriots who kindly donated prize money to my charity. So I have reached a milestone of £100 at least, though I must raise around £400 under the conditions of my entry, and around £200 by the end of July, else the charity may opt to withdraw support for my entry. I have a few people who have said that they will sponsor me but are likely to pay closer to the day so I have a good chance of reaching £400 anyway. I will speak to the charity organisers for the Rocky Appeal if any of this is in doubt, obviously.
If you wish to sponsor me to walk 100 km from Putney bridge to Henley, walking through the night until I finish, please do so either at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/keith-spicer3
or by texting SBOY80 followed by the amount to 70070, e.g. SBOY80 10 for £10.
All donations very much appreciated, and many many thanks to those of you who have sponsored me already.
All I need now is some dedication…….