Following in my husband’s footsteps I thought it was a good idea to register a team for the Oxfam Trailtrekker and have a go myself. This challenge is not an easy one and involves walking 100km in 30 hours across the tough, yet breathtakingly beautiful terrain that is the Yorkshire Dales.
Anyway, although the challenge isn’t until May next year I have started my training. I’m not a big fan of exercise, although I do love a 3 mile walk every day with the dog. So, a couple of weekends ago I mentioned to my 14 year old son that I was going out on a walk to start my training. Not far from our house is a stretch of forest. You park the car, walk down a steep hill, go over a path and into the woods where there are about 300 steps that lead down into the valley. On this occasion I mentioned to my son that my plan was to walk down the steps, and back up again 5 times.
“Ok” he said…”I’ll come with you”
Fantastic I thought, and off we went. We parked the car, let the dog off the lead and walked down the hill. We crossed the path chatting all the way and started climbing down the steps. At the bottom we turned round and went right back up to the top of the hill where we’d started…and I stopped.
“This was a daft idea wasn’t it…let’s just call it a day and do a normal walk.”
“No. No way. You said 5. On the trek you’re not going to call it a day…so you’re not doing that today. Keep going.”
Grudgingly I turned round and sloped down the hill again.
On our return the second time I looked at him…it had begun to rain by now and mist was falling over the hillside.
“Come on…we’re getting soaked. Let’s go home.”
“No – you’ve got another 3 to go. Stop moaning and keep walking.”
So on we went…each time we got to the top I tried to persuade him to let us go home, and each time he persuaded me to carry on.
On the 5th time at the bottom of the stairs he looked at me…we were both absolutely drenched by this point and the dog had long since stopped running around and was sat watching us.
“This time, run up. Right to the top without stopping. Come on I know you can do it and you’ll feel great”
So off we went (I’d like to say I ran, but I walked a bit faster and didn’t stop once!) With one difference, at the top I didn’t moan. I was elated. Really, really elated. We’d done it. A very small part of my overall training plan, but a great start and a very valuable lesson to boot.
I am a coach and know the value of coaching all too well.I know just how important it is to have someone to spur you on when you’re really tempted to stop because you’re tired, or it’s just easier that way.
However, what we often fail to realise is that coaches can come in all shapes and sizes. From your manager at work to your next door neighbour, the person on the train to your children and family. These are the natural coaches who want nothing more than to see you succeed and do well. They are there to push you when you’re dragging your heels, give you words of encouragement and celebrate your successes. Above all they share your vision and have the belief that you’ll get there. They are the people around you that radiate positive energy and rather than telling you it can’t be done, or just not to try, they spur you on until you’ve finished.
These are the people to have around you – time to start looking for yours.