Susie Weston, 53 from Leicestershire says she’s “Never known a group as truly wonderful as this one” – thanks for the inspiration Susie!
I signed up on the 1st January setting myself the goal to walk the 1000 miles and as soon as I did I had a reason to walk no matter what the weather through at me. After each week I found I wanted to beat the previous week's milage and so it continued. I was addicted, and even got into the habit of taking myself off early mornings while my other half was still in the land of nod.
As each week and month passed I started to notice the changes in my body shape. I was soon having to buy new walking gear as my old clothing had become to big, and as you can imagine this spurred me on even more. More and more people started to comment on how well I looked which gave me an even bigger boost to carry on, and now I'm two sizes smaller and an amazing two stone lighter without having to diet – always an issue with me in the past as my weight was like a yo-yo.
I love every moment I spend walking and feel so alive whether it's a long walk or just a couple of laps around our village. I’m so proud of what I have achieved and what the future holds – it really has changed my life and I feel so much happier with myself mentally and physically. To my amazement I hit my 1000 in half the year and my Partner Kevin asked what I was going to do for the next 6 months – to which I replied I'm going to walk 1000 miles more, so I then set myself the challenge to walk 2018 miles and so my story continues.
I lost my brother in law at the end of April this year to cancer. We shared a love of walking, and at first I found it so hard to get out and about and when I did many my walks were filled with tears and a longing to have Paul with us. But as the days, weeks past I found myself wanting to get out just so I could spend some time to myself to have a little cry and talk to him feeling he was by my side. We went to Yorkshire in June and felt that was the right time to get back out walking and to enjoy every new adventure no matter how far or little I walked and knowing it was what Paul would have wanted me to do.
After starting this challenge it has given me a purpose to get out as much as I can and an incentive knowing what ever walk I do it's a step closer to a healthier lifestyle. I try and set a goal to try and beat each weeks total, without this challenge it would be so easy to say I can't be bothered today but now I don't think I could imagine a day without going for a walk. One memorable day I spent walking with my 13-year-old Granddaughter in Bradgate Park. it was the furthest she had ever walked and she loved every moment of it, we are very close but that day we really shared a special love for walking, and long may it continue.
Being apart of this group is amazing. No matter what life throws at us we are always there for each other whether it's to encourage each other or to give us a pat on the back and to congratulate each other. But what I have found so wonderful is that even when some of us are struggling with day to day issues or have lost a loved one, either a family member or a beloved pet, there will always be someone with a kind word. I have never known a group as truly wonderful as this one.
If I could give one bit of advice it would be don't ever give up, no matter how tough life can be at times. Every step you take is one step closer to achieving and completing your own goal. Just believe in yourself – and if I can do it so can you.