For a while I had been thinking of doing a really long walk. I have to get used to walking for many hours as that is what I will be doing on Mount Kilimanjaro. Recently I found 'the long walk' whilst searching on the Internet. I completed a 16 mile walk today, I walked the 'Castleman Trailway' It is part of the disused Southampton to Dorchester railway line which was closed down in the 1960's. The route took me from Ringwood to Poole. The terrain was pretty good, and it was flat. Today that was perfect. Although I do need to walk on big hills I think 16 miles over fairly flat terrain was ideal really. Today was more about getting used to walking for a long time both physically and mentally.
I found it very enjoyable.The weather was ideal for it. No rain, not too cold. There seemed to be lots of people out with their dogs, I would run into clusters of people near residential areas, but as I pushed on, quite a lot of the time I found myself the only person on the trailway. A long way from home, just me, and my thoughts.The miles just seemed to fly by as I enjoyed my walk through woodland and heathland.
As I went through Wimborne Minster, and with about 4 miles to go I did start to labour. My pace dropped and my legs began to ache. I started to think should I stop now? After all, 12 miles is nothing to be ashamed of and a lot further than I have walked before. But what about the last 4 miles? I then thought, what if I start thinking like this in Africa? There will be no turning around on that mountain until I have reached the top. I refuse to do that, so today would be no different. I might have some aches tomorrow, but 'I WILL NOT GIVE UP!' I told myself. I plodded on and did make it to Upton Country Park, the finish line. The sense of satisfaction and pride I felt, having completed what I set out to do made me forget about my aches.
I feel like it was a very successful exercise, I pushed myself further than before physically, and when the doubts entered my head I pushed them away and achieved my goal.
It took me 5 and a half hours to complete the walk.