As regular readers may know, I moved to Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire about 18 months ago. One of the reasons was to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. I may not have exactly set the hiking world on fire yet but I do have nice boots.

I guess my main block is the fear of not knowing what I’m doing. I can walk up a storm along the canal towpath but the idea of veering off into raw countryside is chilling. What’s weird about this is that I grew up in the Lake District so you’d think I’d be a regular Frodo Baggins wouldn’t you?

What am I doing about it?

  • As I said, the first thing was to buy decent walking boots. I’ve got some cracking Salomon boots which are so comfy. As the king of excuses, a potential blister would send me fleeing to the sofa.
  • I’ve been on a few practice walks with friends and the Mountain Rescue weren’t troubled so I’m starting to grow in confidence that I can actually do this.
  • I’m turning to my mobile phone for support. I’ve discovered the app “Map My Walk” which seems fairly straight forward. It shows the route that you need to walk and (I’m hoping) when you’ve veered off. Sort of like Sat Nav on foot.

What are my aims?

  • I read that only 40% of English men are getting the recommended 150 minutes of exercise a week. That is shocking to me and I know I’m one of the 60% and I’m determined not to be, so my first aim is to get my exercise minutes up.
  • Earlier this year I got a Fit Bit and can confirm I am useless at remembering to put it on or charge it so I am going to get better at that and start racking those steps up.
  • I am the type of person who needs a challenge. I was told by doctors to lose weight earlier this year and two stone is now off the Park body so with these two challenges above, I can feel a bit of determination coming in.

What is going to ensure I get success?

  • Putting it on here is quite a good one. I was in two minds whether to write this post because it’s a little out of my comfort zone. I can go on for ages about books or TV or such like but to actually, publicly challenge myself to get off the sofa is a bit scary. I give anyone permission to publicly berate me if you don’t see regular walk pics on my Instagram. There I said it.
  • After every walk, I’m going to write a couple of lines to myself about how I feel. An old personal trainer of mine used to say that the hardest exercise in the gym is opening the door. Once I get back from a walk, I feel great and energised and my head is clear, I need to remember this when I’m whining about how tired I am.
  • I’m dusting off my camera. A few years ago I was heavily into photography but writing sort of took over and my camera was archived. I’ve got a big trip coming up soon and want to get my photography skills back up to speed. No better way than getting out there. Plus I will fool myself into having exercise. Win.
  • I’m contemplating joining a walking group. I think I want to get my fitness levels up a bit more before I make that step (pun intended). I don’t want to be the one gasping for air and gorging on Kendal Mint Cake before we’ve even left the car park. Once I’ve got my confidence, I fully intend to seek one out. Any walking groups in West Yorkshire, be afraid, be very afraid.

There you have it. A public record for all to see. I’d love to hear from you if you like walking and  have any tips, either in the comments below or parkslifeblog@yahoo.com.

Remember to follow me on Instagram (parkslifeblog) to track my progress.

Wish me luck!