A little over a year ago, my friend Susan, who lives in San Diego, called me, as she often does. She had read an article in her local newspaper about something called the Coast to Coast Trail in England. She explained that it was a 192 mile walk across the entire country and that she wanted to gather a bunch of girlfriends to do it with her. Then she asked if I was in. I thought about it long and hard for about thirty seconds or so before impulsively saying “Sure! That could be fun!” Then I asked who else was coming. Susan rattled off a list of several names of women that I either knew or knew about. She had planned to invite a fun and lively group. It sounded so exciting! We decided that this would be the perfect thing to celebrate out 55th birthdays.
A few weeks later, when Susan and I were chatting again, she broke the news that nobody else was willing to commit to doing this challenging walk. She asked me, as she would ask me several more times over the next few months, if I was absolutely positive I was willing to do this. I answered, as I always did, that I said I would do it, so I would do it.
The thing is, it’s easy to agree to do something when you have more than a year to prepare for it. When I think about it, I’m not entirely why I agreed to do this insane trek. I didn’t really feel the need to mark my 55th year on this planet with anything epic . (Well, I did have an amazing birthday party, but that’s another story) I guess it just sounded like a good thing to do.
I suppose this is a good time to tell you that I wasn’t hiker…heck…I was barely a walker. As an overweight and rather sedentary woman, the very idea of walking a mile was rather daunting….nearly 200 miles just wasn’t imaginable. I immediately trained hard by reading blog posts about the train and re-joining the gym…and not actually going.
At the beginning of this summer, I realized that this was really happening and I had better get serious. So I spend a few hours getting fitted for the right hiking boots for me and then pestered my more experienced girlfriends to go walking with me. I don’t think they knew how terrifying it was to me to go off the sidewalk, onto a trail.
In just over a week, I will climb on a plane to England. (technically I will go to Portland first!) We will have a few days to explore and then hit the trail. Hopefully all my training will pay off, and I’ll have as much fun as I envisioned last June when Susan invited me to join her.
I hope you’ll follow along.