A few years ago, I struggled with a problematic foot and was reduced to hobbling along on sticks, a hundred yards felt like a mile. Perched on the sofa one day, I saw an advertisement for a trek on the Great Wall of China and before I knew what I was doing, I’d picked the phone up and paid my deposit. Quite how I thought I was going to achieve this never crossed my mind. I just knew that I would.
The training pack arrived and I saw that ‘a good level of fitness’ was required. And so, it began. The sticks were abandoned and the pain relief ditched and I was off. Pacing the roads and fields and I could be frequently seen on ‘the killer mile,’ a well-known local hill.
The great day arrived and I met with other trekkers at Heathrow. We were to share an amazing experience trekking along part of the Great Wall (which was built by hand and stretches for over 4,000 miles). Forget the glossy promo shots, the Wall is daunting and dangerous and very scary. Mostly crumbling and steep with dangerous edges that drop dramatically to mountains below. Some days my pace was agonizingly slow, ten steps at a time – up and up. In the mornings, I needed my walking poles to raise my stiff and aching body off the ground but the joy of trekking along this historic route was immense and I treasured every moment of the challenge.
And so, my love of trekking began and there have been several mountains since.
Trekking is like writing. You set yourself a goal and the journey may be pitted with unexpected stops and paths you didn’t know you were going to take, but you get there in the end!
Happy trekking and writing xx