Carol: A vital way to connect with your sense of self

Walking has supported Carol through physical and mental health struggles, and now it helps her lower her carbon footprint

Carol, Humans of the Walk

Walking has been a lifeline for Carol throughout her life for mental and physical health reasons. Now Carol prefers to travel actively to unwind and forget worries whilst doing her bit for the environment.

"I’ve always been an active person and before a period of bad health, I got the chance to hike the Himalayas and the Italian Alps.

"In my late 30’s I was diagnosed with Endometriosis and an underactive thyroid which resulted in intense surgery, during this time I also had a family bereavement. Quickly, I went from a fitness-fanatic to feeling demotivated, depressed and in physical pain.

"My long-term friend kept asking me to come out on walks but I’d always come up with some sort of excuse, but finally one night she managed to convince me and we went out on a stroll through the local area.

"After one walk, I could already feel the benefits. At this point, I decided to reconnect with my body and started walking around my local community and gradually began to increase the distance.

"Since then, I’ve rediscovered my love for walking and keeping fit in general – it’s been vital for me to connect with who I am as a human being."

As Carol’s stamina and health picked up, she started to make the effort to walk to the shops and other local appointments instead of driving, also purchasing an old bike and rekindling an activity from her childhood - cycling enables Carol to explore her local area utilising the excellent cycling network around West Dunbartonshire and use her car less.

This quickly made her look at her own practices and efforts to be more sustainable leading to her making the switch to an electric vehicle.

"Now we take three holidays a year in the UK all of which are walking holidays. We purchased an electric car and once we reach our destination the car stays put and we walk everywhere.

"With all the trappings of modern life it is easy to forget that our body is designed to move for extended periods of time and it was only when I couldn’t that I realised how much I needed it."

Carol's story is part of our Humans of the Walk campaign during COP26. Check out the full campaign gallery here.