The day finally came when I was brave enough to sign up for a walk and ask for a lift. I got a reply within 20 minutes so I was pretty happy about that. I just had the week to wait until I was off to the hills. I was very anxious about this. I was worried about well everything! What if they don’t like me? What if I can’t do it and they laugh at me? What if it’s just too hard? After all I had now failed twice to even walk up a hill and now I had signed up to walk up 6.
The journey was ok and I gradually started to feel less anxious. When we arrived in Wooler it was time to walk and it was straight up the hill, Humbleton Hill to be precise. It was so hard, I couldn’t breathe but thankfully I wasn’t the slowest in the group so this gave me a little bit of what felt like security.
After a short time we reached the top of the hill, I had finally managed to walk up a hill and while it felt good I wasn’t so sure I could walk up 5 more, but I didn’t really have much choice. What would I do if I turned around? And on we went to hill two, three and four. Each was higher than the last and more of struggle for my lungs; I just couldn’t breathe at all. Every time we started walking in a downwards direction I felt relief and could breathe again.
The people in the group were friendly and encouraging and it was nice to interact with some new people who I would never normally meet in my day to day life. It made me less anxious about the fact I might not be able to do it, maybe they wouldn’t laugh at me after all.
We reached the second last hill and by this time I was tired, cold and my chest was screaming out to stop, but I still made it to the top. There was only one hill to go and another woman in the group who was similarly struggling started to cry as it had just become too much for her. I felt bad for her as I knew how it felt to struggle so much.
At this point it seemed like we were going to be given the choice of walking up the last hill or not, I debated this and decided I should try, I’ve come this far I can surely go the distance of this. But the decision was made that the whole group should head back as we were going to lose the light on this early January day. I was secretly relieved that there were not going to be any more hills to climb.
The walk back was enjoyable I had started to feel comfortable and little more confident. We then went to the Pub for dinner, I was somewhat lacking in funds so I only had a drink but it was enjoyable to sit and chat with everyone. I truly felt a sense of achievement, I had done what I set out to and it felt good.
I have to add the one thing not feeling so good at this point were my feet. After getting dropped off at the train station I hobbled to my friends house and practically crying asked for bowl of warm water, which was a great relief. Thankfully my feet are a bit tougher these days J
And so began the best year of my life so far…