I would like to emphasise the fact that walking is open to everyone of any ability and gender.
I see walking as a step for equality, awareness, diversity and openness. I believe we need to increase diversity and welcome people from all backgrounds. Walking will enliven your spirit and give great health benefits. Inspiration drawn from the countryside is wonderful and also keeps people in harmony with nature.
From mountains to agricultural areas, I have walked at different levels and enjoy all of it just as much. There is always more to discover so don’t get stuck in one area, keep reaching out to new countryside. Walking can be anything you want it to be – it can be liberating and also hard work. It can be any type, from urban to rural. Above all, walking is what you make it and you keep learning all the time. Remember different types will be preferred at different times of life – there is no age limit. Keep an open mind and keep walking. It can benefit both your physical and mental health. People also have different walking styles, fast, slow, ambling or racing and all are of equal importance and have the same credibility.
In choosing your distance, you can always do more than you think and sometimes stretching yourself can be rewarding, but don’t go too far otherwise, you will spoil the enjoyment. Select an environment you like best and join the Ramblers, as you can be part of any group on any day. Remember everyone had to start somewhere and even the most experienced can still go wrong.
Remember, if you have limitations or issues with health, walking can still help you. It should be as simple as breathing. It can be strenuous or gentle, hard or soft, warm or cold, challenging or easy… The most inspirational walkers I have seen are those with perhaps a limitation, but their determination is twice as strong and even more rewarding to walk with. This is the greatest pleasure to see everyone enjoying the walk and also to give support. It’s helped me through many things and has provided a new life experience.
Just keep putting one foot in front of the other…
Submitted by Anna Shaw