Now that the dust has settled a bit, I thought it was about time to say a few – pah! – words about my experience of walking up the country, and about the things I learned along the way.
The longest break I had on the walk was when I stayed with Russ and Rachel at the half way point. I stayed with them for four nights. Since finishing my little adventure I’ve not stayed in the same place for more than a couple of nights until now. I’ve been home for four nights now so this is all new ground for me, being in the same place for that long.
In that time I’ve been busy sorting out the video montage, photos of the walk, catching up with people and just trying to get used to being back at home again. I wasn’t sure what it would be like getting back to the house but so far things are going ok. I hope it continues that way.
I’ve also spent a lot of time looking back over the adventure and thinking about what it meant to me. Along the way there were a few things I learnt. I’m sure there were more but these were the things that really stuck in my mind.
- Never underestimate the power of the humble polo.
- The human body can take more than you ever imagined. I’ve pushed myself passed that point of giving up more times than I care to mention, as Matt will contest to!
- Eating on your own in a restaurant is nothing to be ashamed of.
- The UK is not broken, no matter how much the media would have you believe it is.
- The generosity of the people of this land is second to none.
- I have truly amazing friends and family. Thank you for giving me so much confidence in myself and hope for the future. I will be forever grateful for everything you’ve all done for me.
- I like me. I didn’t for quite a while after Sarah left but I’ve really begun to like who I am again.
- I no longer have to live by the constraints of what once was.
I promised myself that while on the walk I wouldn’t make any life-changing decisions. There was enough to concentrate on and think about without trying to seriously sort out what I wanted to do or where I wanted to be. Yes, the walk was an excellent purging exercise and I certainly feel a lot better having done it, and not just in the physical sense either.
One thing I underestimated before starting the walk was how much of a mental strain it was going to be. I knew it was going to be hard physically – you couldn’t expect to walk 1100 miles without it being hard now could you? But, the mental side really did take me by surprise.
Ok, there was a lot going round my head, especially in the early stages, but the mental workout every single day was astounding. It amazed me how quickly my body deteriorated when I started to get mentally weak or my head was in completely the wrong place. There were a lot of you at the end of the phone, on Facebook etc. who really helped me through those difficult, down times and I cannot thank you enough. There were times I thought I couldn’t go on or just didn’t want to go on, and if it wasn’t for you all there is a good chance I’d never have made it to the end. So thank you, all of you.
Looking forward all the pages are blank. This is a new, fresh start. I’m not the person I was before I started the walk. I’m stronger – physically and mentally – and I’d like to think a much more rounded person overall. Hopefully this will pay dividends in the days, weeks and years to come?
I’ve still not made any decisions on what I want to do with my life now but that’ll come in time. There’s no rush and it’s not like I haven’t got enough to do finishing off chronicling this amazing adventure of mine. I’m sure you’ll all get to hear about it when I’ve finally figured out what I want to do but for now, I’m happy enjoying my success and catching up with all my friends and family.
All I can say for the moment is…wonder what’s next…?!