SAM_1457 (3)The training pack for one of my challenges arrived in the post yesterday and the excitement and planning talk rose from a trickle to a colossal flood.  I am beginning to believe that all the challenges I have agreed to are actually going to take place.

This is my year of challenges.  I have a number of exciting trips coming up:  Scotland (wild camping), Kilimanjaro trekking( Where in the world?…, ) and then  the Trailwalker, a 100km walk over the South Downs in under 30 hours.  Suddenly, I can feel my feet blistering at the thought of all the walking and trekking I am expecting to do.

But challenges are good, right?  Good for the soul, the sense of achievement etc, etc.  Feel the fear…and all that.  And yes, I am, feeling the fear….But I am also unable to refuse the opportunity that challenges seem to be offering my life.

Why do I need a challenge?

Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions

Dalai Lama

Challenging myself has helped me to learn something – I had to be open to it, admittedly.  Last year, I learned that I could walk 250 miles in a couple of weeks; but that was my surface learning.  Deep beneath that, I learned that I had a resilience and tenacity that I had not seen  before.  I tried and I tried and although there were days when I felt that I was losing the will to carry on, I got up every morning with the same desire to continue.  In fact, a joyful desire to continue.  I wondered who this person was. But this year, that person is still around.

Having a challenge to complete has made me find out more about myself than I would if I had sat at home doing my usual stuff.   Being out of my comfort zone, but only just outside it, enabled me to achieve something that I never thought possible. Achievements weren’t just for other people.  After all, there I was, at the end of the world(see (Part 2): They think it’s all over: Day 16: Cee to Finisterre)!  And it has enabled me to believe more in myself this year and say YES to new challenges and new adventures.  Ones that are further outside my comfort zone.

Oxfam has a few good reasons for anyone to go on their Trailwalker challenge.

A few good walks is my challenge to myself this year and hopefully I will raise a bit of money for a good cause too.

What about you?  What is your challenge?  I would love to hear what you want to achieve this year!

Happy trekking