On the 17th of June I began an optimistic journey. I’d set myself a challenge to walk one and a half million steps in ninety days for a charity close to my heart – Mind. I’d been used to walking, often setting upon long hikes to spend time in nature, but this was different. To do my once-a-week hike almost every day for ninety days was quite the challenge I had set myself… and after my first week of doing it, I was feeling it.
There’s a mental barrier we have to break through when setting upon any physical challenge. The body can only comfortably do what it’s used to, but pushing through this barrier is how we improve endurance and strength. It takes willpower to push through, and that I have in abundance. I remember likening this barrier to how I was feeling while recovering from PTSD. There was a barrier there that took me a while to break through.
“I can’t do this.”
“There’s no hope”
“If I feel like I can’t do it, I should give up, right?”
Thoughts the majority of us have had while doing something challenging. The mind leans to the negative, often to protect us from the feeling of failure. Quit while you’re ahead – I believe the saying is. But what happens when you ignore these thoughts? What happens when you realise that you are capable? Greatness truly is on the other side of that barrier – it’s in the challenge and in those things that we’re afraid to do.
I broke through that barrier the same way that I did with PTSD – I focused and charged at it headfirst. I leant into the pain and pushed myself further. These things are easy to do when the cause is great enough. I had to recover from my mental illness, because it got to a point where there was no other option. I had to do it for those that loved me. As such, that’s how I carried on walking. The cause was greater than the strain on my body, which I would only endure and become stronger. The money I would raise would help those that once felt like me, and that was a cause greater than any.
I got off to a strong start with one of my favourite walks, Greenham Common. The bunker scene of Star Wars: The Force Awakens was actually filmed there, Millennium Falcon and everything!
Day two, I met a knight, just on his morning stroll in chainmail armour. Of course, I had to spark up a conversion and try on his gauntlet.
I spent much time at the local castle ruins and writing poetry while wandering the forests.
I saw many a sunset on evening walks, releasing how serene and beautiful this world truly is.
And to finish my epic journey, I completed the challenge on the cliffs of Cornwall, while also visiting Tintagel castle, the birthplace of King Arthur.
My final result of the challenge-
Total steps walked: 1,501,172 / 1,500,000.
Total raised for Mind: £282 / my target of £200.
And that concludes my journey for Mind, and it certainly was a journey. I’m proud of myself for what I achieved. I know the money that I raised will go toward helping people that are struggling in the way I once did, and for that, I am grateful. Mind also helped me in a time that I was in need of guidance. If it wasn’t for them, I may have never got the help that I needed to recover. It’s in those moments that we’re at our lowest that we need someone to reach out to. It’s in those moments that sometimes it’s difficult to talk to those we know, and so we don’t receive the support we need – that’s why organisations like Mind are so important. They provide that first step to recovery and raise awareness to make these services more accessible.
For more information on Mind, check out their website: https://www.mind.org.uk
And you can see more about the challenge here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mychaoticmind