How Did This Adventure Start?
Since leaving school at the tender age of 16 and getting in to that wonderful world of IT (QA/Test to be more specific), much to my parent’s dismay as I really think they expected me to take my A Levels and then go on to university, I’ve pretty much worked solidly.
The longest break from work came when I was made redundant from Sun Microsystems back in 2004. Apart from that it was just the usual week or two off here and there.
At the end of 2009 I found myself wondering what life was all about after my marriage broke down and my wife left me.
What did I want to do with my life now that the playing field had changed and I had a lot of time on my hands?
Work wasn’t helping me to get through the difficulties of my personal life and I sat more often than not feeling that I needed to do something: what exactly that “thing” was eluded me for quite some time.
How do you decide to walk the length of the UK?
It was on the evening of Tuesday 8th December 2009 when the first sparks of an idea to walk the length of the UK came to me. As usual I was sat at the PC, either sorting out photos or writing on my homepage, with the TV on in the background. An advert for “Too Big to Walk” came on and it was then that I thought to myself that if they could attempt such a long distance (Land’s End to Edinburgh) then so could I, with the hope of raising as much money as I could for the British Heart Foundation. And so the idea was born.
Excited as I was with the thought of doing the walk I slept on it to make sure that I woke up the next morning with the same enthusiasm to take on such a huge undertaking. I guess by the fact that this site is in existence I think you know that I most certainly did wake up as enthused as I was the previous night, so I thought I’d test the water with my friend – someone who would most definitely tell me if I was being an idiot, thinking about doing something as gigantic as this. I’m pleased to say, he thought it was a fantastic idea and so the ball was fully set in motion.
Raising money for charity was always a big part of this adventure, but another big part was for me to learn a lot more about myself, about what made me tick and who I really was. I knew that I could be a better, more disciplined and more dedicated person than I perhaps had been in the past. I knew that inside me there was a person with the strength of body and mind to do anything he wanted to.
I knew that it would be a long process, and that there would be days when I didn’t feel like walking, and days when I couldn’t stop walking. In the end, this would be a journey to myself, a journey to find out what I was made of.
In the end, that’s all life is, a constant search for self discovery, challenging yourself, and discovering something new about you every day.
So why the British Heart Foundation?
In 1998 I lost my dad when he died of a heart attack and I lost my mum in 2008 when she died of undiagnosed heart disease. Both deaths were completely out of the blue and a complete shock to everyone. If that wasn’t bad enough, both my brothers and I have had scares over the years, again all relating to possible heart problems – thankfully we all seem to be ok.
After dad died I ran the London Marathon in his memory, raising money both for a local charity and the British Heart Foundation. When mum died we asked everyone to donate money to the British Heart Foundation instead of buying flowers for her funeral, again raising quite a lot of money for a very worthy cause.
After reading that I guess it’s easy to see why I decided to again raise money for the British Heart Foundation?
Every year the British Heart Foundation saves thousands of lives through their pioneering research into heart and cardiovascular disease. They provide vital information to help you reduce heart health risks and they also support and care for heart patients, helping them understand and cope with their illness.