When was the last time I did a walk in the Cotswolds? I can recall one or two group walks from 2018 but I cannot pinpoint the time of year in my mind. Was it all the way back in June, in the midst of my ‘failed’ attempt to complete The Ridgeway within a defined five-day block?
A few months ago, I wrote of my intentions to walk more of the Cotswold Way this year and perhaps even, to complete the National Trail that’s never been more than an hour’s drive from home. Well, a group walk came along in an area I’d not often explored before… I got in my car and drove.
My inspiration for this post was found in a recent and brief online conversation with Alex Roddie on social media. Alex raised the idea that getting outside is being marketed as the simple ‘be all and end all’ solution for a world of people’s personal problems (as I understood it).
This is not something I’d previously considered but immediately, I felt a response and realisation growing within me that has provided the impetus for this piece of writing.
It was back in October 2012 that I first joined Brunel Walking Group in an opportunity to meet like-minded people of a similar age and to explore different areas on foot. Since then, I’ve become a regular and well-known member. It was only six-months after joining that I was leading my first group walk (I was encouraged to do it but, still).
On average, I’ll probably lead five or six walks in a year and often more. What I’d like to do in this post is to explore and share why I take on this responsibility.
Coming to the end of the second month of this relatively new year, I decided to head out and tackle my next section of the Severn Way. On the previous day, I’d attended a fairly ‘undemanding’ group walk around Somerset. While it had been be nice to meet with people and experience the unseasonal shine of the sun, I was craving a bit of alone time and at least one hill, before returning to work the next day.
February was a month that began with a sudden cold snap, carpeting much of the UK (including the often-untouched south-west) with several inches of snow. A short month on any calendar. I’m still surprised it has come and gone so quickly.
I’m sure I’ll have written previously that I don’t walk on Exmoor often enough. In 2018, I can only think of two occasions where I visited this quite local National Park and each of those days was with Brunel Walking Group.
Here we are in only the second month of 2019 and I’ve recently complete my second walk on Exmoor for the year!
Earlier this week, I read what I thought was an incredible post from Katrina Megget, who wrote very open and honestly about her own struggles with self-doubt. Of course, personal realities like this are not often showcased across social media, in favour of the near-perfect images and quotes that will often attract the interactions from an audience.
Feeling inspired from reading Katrina’s own experiences, I’d like to write of my own.