Janet Botwright from the Jobcentre Plus in Irvine sent in this really inspiring story about her reasons for taking part in the challenge.
I am using the Step Count Challenge to train for another very special challenge later this year. In November I will be trekking for 10 days in South Africa to raise funds for Breast Cancer Care (Scotland). We will be walking through the Western Cape, along cliff paths, through game reserves, and on the final day, we climb to the top of Table Mountain.
Breast Cancer Care supported me through 2 years of treatment for breast cancer, which I completed in December 2010. I wanted to give something back and help make sure they continue to support the thousands of other people who will be diagnosed with breast cancer. And a trip to South Africa sounded like just the thing I needed to look forward to!
Breast Cancer Care gave me a training plan when I signed up in December, but with the trip almost a year away it was too easy to put off starting. Joining in the Step Count Challenge has helped enormously with my training. Being part of a team, with more immediate goals, has given me the focus to get going.
I started by increasing the length of weekend walks with Monty, my retriever. At the moment I'm gradually increasing the evening walks as well. As the days get longer, the plan is to add in some morning walks before work. At work I do the usual things like taking the stairs, getting up from my desk and walking around the office more often, talking the long way to the kitchen for my coffee. At the moment I'm averaging about 8000 steps per day. It won't seem like much to some people but this time last year I couldn't manage more than 10 minute walks.
The photo above was taken during a walk in the hills around Loch Tay with a friend who encouraged me to get back into walking. I'm the one on the right. Monty, my golden retriever, is my constant companion on my walks. He keeps me going, especially in bad weather since he loves nothing better than being wet!
Anyone who wants to can track my progress through my JustGiving page. Donations can also be made using this site.