I normally enjoy most things that I do, but one thing that I’ve never really warmed to is walking or hiking over long distances. My mother adores going for long walks and I remember having to participate in many of them as a child and young teenager.
It wasn’t that I didn’t enjoy exercise – I regularly played badminton, went to karate classes and I swam several times a week, but there was something about simply walking that I found boring and tedious.
One of my closest friends at school found an advertisement for a walking group and she begged and pleaded with me to join her. She was exercise obsessed, I was weak-willed and consequently one Sunday I found myself stood on the top of a hill with a group of strangers. We went through the introductions and polite conversation, and then we walked. And walked. And walked. FOR EIGHTEEN MILES.
What I had assumed was that ‘a walk’ would mean a leisurely stroll across the hills for a few hours. Instead, these people were machines. They set off at a pace that would have put them in competition with Olympians, and sometimes I almost had to jog to keep up whilst attempting to avoid an epic amount of goat poo. It was cold, it was windy and I returned home with blisters the size of two pence pieces from my mother’s hiking boots and an absolute promise to myself that I would never participate in anything like that again.
I’ve stayed true to that promise, and I can guarantee that the only time you’ll ever see me up a hill whilst wearing hiking boots is if… No, it’ll never happen.