Last night at approximately 8.15pm, in the bitter cold, I took my 850,000th step in 90 days!  

During our first week back in the ‘office’ after Christmas, one of my colleagues mentioned that she had signed up for ‘Step Up for Dementia’. She whipped up some excitement, so a few of us set about clocking up the steps during the cold, wet, windy winter months of lockdown.

I am so thankful for that conversation, to my colleagues’ photos and messages spurring us all on and to those who sponsored me to raise money for this great charity. Today, I’ve been reflecting on the impact this challenge has had in line with my passion for empowering others to live purposeful, happy, healthy lives. I’d like to share my reflections with you.   

This challenge has certainly given me additional purpose during the tough 3 months of lockdown. It has forced me to get outside, to literally keep putting one foot in front of the other. It has felt particularly purposeful as I know that the £300+ that I have raised will make a massive difference to peoples’ lives. It means over 1,800 people can access Talking Point, Alzheimer’s Society online forum. 

It has certainly contributed to my overall happiness during these shorter, darker days, which I often find tough. It has helped me to be present in nature; listening to the bird song, stopping to feel the sun, wind, rain on my face. Walking outside has given me the opportunity to clear my head and feel generally calmer and more peaceful during my day. Bessie has also played a part trotting along beside me or bouncing along behind trying to keep up. I will remain truly grateful for that time with her and for the positive impact on my mental health.

The more obvious element is my physical health. Boy was I unfit when I started, 5000 steps seemed tough after being pretty stationary from Oct to Dec, I hadn’t even realised.   

So, there we have it. Today I took a day off, gave my legs a break but I intend to get back out there again tomorrow!  

Soon I’ll be swapping my steps for pedals as Clive and I are once again cycling the coast to coast from Workington to Sunderland in June. No rest for the wicked, I’ll get on it knowing even more how important it is to have purpose, happiness and health ???? 

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