‘You do know Snowdon is a mountain?’….the loving and supportive response from my husband when I told him that I’d signed up to the Snowdon Challenge at work!
Those that know me will know that I am in no way a fitness freak, I’m more of an ‘exercise?...I thought you said extra fries’ kind of a girl that likes drinking gin and eating cake. So when the conversations about walking up Snowdon had started to rumble at work, I kept my head down and my mouth firmly shut. Over time, as I heard people talking about it, the thought of being part of the challenge was growing on me. I’d never done anything remotely like this before, but there were a few other novices that’d signed up and a bit of a buzz was growing so I threw caution to the wind and put my name down.
A few weeks back the team organised a couple of practice walks, the first being up Holcombe Hill in Ramsbottom. I had my rucksack ready, was kitted out in my walking clobber and felt quite excited about the whole thing. We set off from the library in good spirits, chatting as we walked along and feeling positive. That was until I encountered The Rake – half way up that and I genuinely felt like I’d made the biggest mistake ever signing up to this challenge! My legs were killing, I was out of breath and was basically just a hot and sweaty mess….we were literally 10 minutes in and I thought I was never going to make it!
If I hadn’t have taken my dog Harvey with me, who practically pulled me up it, I’m not 100% I’d have made it up The Rake but I did, and once we got past the Shoulder of Mutton pub things started to get better. It felt brilliant being out in the fresh air with the fields around us, and once we made it to the top and were stood outside Peel Tower the views were amazing. A quick sip of water at the top with the wind in our faces and the gorgeous views I felt a real sense of achievement and was glad that I’d done it. An hour and a half after setting off and we were back at the library, feeling positive and looking forward to the main event.
As a complete newbie to the world of mountain climbing, and now being only a few days away from the actual challenge, talk has turned to more practical things as I find myself wondering things like what food I need to take with me or what do I do if I need the loo on the way up? Having teammates on the challenge who are well versed in all things walking has helped me, a lot. Without their knowledge and guidance I could easily see myself aimlessly venturing up this mountain never to be seen again, but with my colleagues beside me I now feel as confident and as ready as I’ll ever be to take this challenge on.
Many of you reading this will have walked up and down Holcome Hill many times and think ‘what’s the big deal’? For someone like me, who’s successfully avoided strenuous physical exercise for 34 years, it was the first real hill walk I’d done and I felt proud. I know Holcombe Hill is only a fraction of the size of Snowdon, and the real trek will probably 4 times as long to complete, but I’m looking forward to the challenge and the sense of achievement that I’m sure will come with it.
Whether I make it to the top and back or whether I only make it half way up, at least I can say that I pushed myself out of my comfort zone, I gave it a go and I tried my best – that’s all I can do, and I’m ok with that……although it would be good to complete the whole thing just so I can prove my cynical husband wrong!
Find out how we met the challenge on 18th May 2019 .
You can read the other team blogs .