When he had six stents put into his arteries last October IT man Simon Bullough, 47, knew one thing – things had to change. He wasn't sure how, so chose something he knew he could do – walk! Now he's a 1000-miler....
You look great Simon! How did you get to where you are now?
I started to walk to work (a 4.5 mile round trip) on January 1st and have only had the odd day when I've taken the car since. At first, I found it a slog, not physically, but I had the habit of getting in my car and driving five minutes! Why?? After walking to work for a few weeks, I started walking at weekends, gradually extending my mileage. My initial challenge was fear and I kept asking myself questions like, ‘What if...?’ and ‘How will they find me?’. Initially, I was doing about five miles, just in case, but now I'm clocking up 20+ miles on a regular basis and am going all over the place. I've lived in Dunstable all my life and I've discovered areas I never knew existed just a few miles from my house.
Walking’s not just about keeping fit, it's about appreciating what we have and making sure future generations can see what we've seen. I've always loved the outdoors, but never really been a walker. I AM NOW!
How do the walking and non-walking parts of your life connect?
I work in IT, which is pretty stressful, so my walking to and from work gives me the time to relax and thing about other things, not just work. Longer walks at weekends give me time to enjoy the outdoors, explore and completely detach myself from anything else that is going on in my life.
What do find enjoyable about the #walk1000miles community?
The group is amazing!! There's such a diverse range of people young, old, fit, not so fit, and they've all taken up the challenge, working towards the same goal – to walk 1000 miles. I find that incredibly encouraging to be a part of. I love reading other people's stories, their experiences, and how to escape from a herd of cows hot on your heels!! Some of the pictures are amazing!! It inspires me to go to some of the places to experience them for myself. Just seeing people outside, enjoying life!
Have you got a message for other people who might be considering starting the challenge?
Whatever your reason, whatever your motivation, keep putting one boot in front of the other. The challenge is not a competition, it doesn't matter if others have already completed it, it's your challenge to be done your way. One step at a time, every mile counts... but most importantly – ENJOY IT!