As you are probably aware last weekend I took part in a charity walk for Epilepsy Action, which involved walking 54 miles within 24 hours around the Brecon Beacons national park. I shared this experience with 3 amazing friends and I can honestly say it was physically and mentally the most challenging thing I have experienced.
Physically I felt ready in terms of strength, stamina and ability, as I had been focusing my yoga practice on increasing leg and core strength. I had the deep down feeling that physically I could do it, but my concerns were more about how I would cope as it got colder as we walked through the night. In short would my mind give in?
It didn’t start well, after a sleepness night at a hotel where the guests of a wedding were in and out of each other’s rooms and children were running along the corridor, I awoke with a headache and then later about a mile in I had a blister issue…..by mile 13 I wondered how I would get through the following 41 miles…..while others chatted, I preferred to keep quiet, to preserve my energy but also to focus on my breath and I found myself repeating “I have an infinite amount of energy and an infinite amount of strength” This was the
mantra that kept me focused for the rest of the walk…….
Thankfully as the hours and miles passed my feet were happy and even though there was no time for dancing we did pause at the top of Pen Y Fan to take in the amazing views and to soak up our achievements so far.
Around 1am were were feeling the drop in temperatures and in need of warm food and drinks and at the checkpoint we stopped at to re-fuel we realised it was easier to keep moving than to stop for long…..we even picked up another walker whose team mate had dropped out and as we walked towards the dawn and the finish line got closer staying focused on my breath, mantra and keeping my body relaxed to preserve my energy was key….. I also thought about my friend Caroline who on a daily basis faces demands of looking after Eloise and I thought of those who have to flee their homes due to conflict and have no idea where their finish line is or what they face around each corner….for me I had choice and the knowledge of more food, water and a warm bath to enjoy later that day.
We crossed the finish line at 7:32 am on Sunday having been walking since 9:00 am on Saturday morning; we were just one of a few teams that actually stayed intact to complete the challenge.
It was such an honour to share the experience with my friends to support each other along the way, it showed our unique strengths and seeing all those people taking part all with one aim to raise money for charity……Taking myself out of my comfort zone may have left me with swollen feet but it has shown me I am capable of more than I allow myself to believe and that after practising what I preach, Pure Movement Yoga works!
I’d love to hear about what challenges you have faced and what tools helped you conquer them…..