I’m walking 640km across Jordan, and the days are counting down remarkably fast. The point of the trek is not only to challenge myself but to raise funds for @MSF_UK as I’ve written about extensively, start at number one and work on through to ten. If you believe in MSF’s work around the world or simply like my blog please head over to my just giving page and donate a few Pounds, Euro, Shillings or dollars to the cause.
I’ve been planning this amazing Jordan adventure since September. In September this was just a dream, something that would be crazy nice to do but highly unlikely. Then thanks to Jessica who didn’t doubt my plans I took the leap and asked for the time off. Then in November I decided to raise funds for MSF_UK while doing this walk.
Even without doing the walk I’ve gained a lot. Last August I collapsed at work, in Tanzania. I collapsed because I was working too much, travelling too much, too stressed and generally not taking any care of myself. I was drinking too much, not eating well and not exercising and everything was making me miserable. I need hiking and adventure to reset, to feel calm and human, and that was missing from my life.
Since collapsing, I restructured my work life, and put a focus back on my own health instead of everyone else. I started running seriously and went to the physio about that time I fractured my ankle but didn’t have time to see anyone because I was heading to West Africa and Ebola was more important. I went to the dentist about those braces I put of for over 16 years!
Planning this trip has meant that I don’t work until 11pm because I have another focus. The pressure to be fit for hiking means I go running or do some exercise daily. I get outside more. My clothes fit me again, without breathing in. I haven’t cried at work in weeks. I feel stronger, more confident. I still drink too much and eat badly – but not as badly and I’m working on it. I’ve had a bag of M&M’s in my fridge for over a month when they previously lasted a week.
Fundraising has meant I have to talk to people and be nice to them. you can tell I’m not a people person! You know what, people are nice. I’ve been overwhelmingly surprised at peoples responses, generosity and kindness and that positive feedback leads me to engage more. I will never be great at social media and asking for sponsorship, and I take it very hard when people I expect to respond don’t, but it’s not as scary or bad as I thought.
I’m learning entirely new skill sets, fundraising, social media, trail running, light weight packing and I love learning new things. I’ve engaged with a different set of people on social media, people who do crazy adventures around the world and are truly inspiring.
Even without walking a step of the trail I’ve gained more than I ever imagined, taking on a project like this might seem a little crazy and like too much hard work but it’s worth it!