Our fitness, mental health, outdoor experience can all lead us to wonder – am I up to walking 1000 miles? Am I good enough? In fact, am I normal? They’re questions many of us ask ourselves at various points in our lives, and particularly when we’re taking on a new challenge. Here’s the reassuring response when we surveyed 2017 participants.
Thankfully one of the things we know about walking is very good at is making ourselves more accepting of ourselves. But we’re horrified by the thought that anyone at the fringes of or perhaps outside #walk1000miles, or the world of walking generally, might feel in some way unqualified for or unequal to the challenge. So we did a survey, which 500 challengers anonymously – and therefore we can presume honestly – filled in, to find out a bit more about us as a group, and to see how it matches up to the imagined ‘normal’ that might be skulking unhelpfully in the back of some of our minds.
Do you consider yourself a really fit person?
Which goes to show while it will SOUND like you're a superhuman doing this challenge you DON'T have to feel like one to start with.
Do you consider yourself an experienced walker?
Which means there are many to whom navigating, route-planning and rucksack packing are new!
Have you ever felt like the person holding a group back on a walk?
So a challenge in which the old you is the only other competitor is perfect!
Where is most of your walking done?
Reassurance were it needed that by far the majority of miles racked up are through the fields and along the pavements near home. And you know what? Every mile’s as good as another.
Does the idea of climbing mountains leave you cold or fearful?
So you’d be wrong to think that everyone is upwardly-mobile when it comes to their walking.
Is your interest in walking shared by friends and family?
Do you walk alone?
Have you ever been depressed?
Which, with over two-thirds answering yes, goes to show depression IS normal, it makes no sense to feel isolated by it and many more people than you think probably know how it feels.
Are you completely happy with your body?
Which goes to show we should probably stop singling ourselves out for punishment by absenting ourselves from photographs and casting reproachful looks toward the mirror – when four-fifths of us feel the same.
Do you find #walk1000miles helps with the above?
Which we're thrilled to hear!