While I can't swim, I'll enjoy walking the Channel
Before the first lockdown going for a walk every weekend was always something I meant to do. I even had a reminder in my phone telling myself to go for a walk every Saturday morning but I would either ignore it, not notice it or just tell myself I didn’t have time before going out to do whatever I was doing that day.
During the first lockdown I only tended to go out every three days, partly because it suddenly felt like a scary world out there but also because I’m lucky enough to have a garden and, having been furloughed since April, I would get my daily dose of fresh air and sunshine by sunbathing in the garden every afternoon.
This second lockdown feels very different, mainly because without being able to sit in the sunshine all day, for the first time I find myself having to find other ways to fill my days. And, of course, I don’t have a swim to look forward to which is always a nice way to break up the day.
Before the second lockdown started I had already resolved to start walking most days so as soon as Aspire launched their Walk the Channel challenge I signed up because I knew it would make me walk even on those days I wasn’t really feeling like it. It gives me motivation to leave the house and there’s a certain satisfaction in being able to come home and tick more miles off the poster and feel as though there was a purpose to my walk.
I have found that walking gives me the same escape, both mentally and physically, from everyday life that I relish from a swim. The only downside with walking is that you don’t get away from your phone - yes, I know I could put it on silent or not look at it, but we just don’t do that do we?! On the plus side I can listen to music whilst I walk, which I don’t when I swim.
I am lucky enough to live in the suburbs of London so there are lots of parks and open spaces I can get to easily, although I’m a bit envious of those who live by the coast. I have been discovering local parks, wooded areas and abandoned roads, some of which I didn’t even know existed before.
So, although I’m not yet ready to buy walking boots and a cagoule, I will spend November walking the Channel. I’m not sure how I will feel about walking when it gets really cold, rains or even snows, but fingers crossed the pools will be open again by then.