Managing My Illness Through Walking

I was formally diagnosed just over a year ago but had suffered for much longer. I’d gone from working full time on a farm, running regularly, riding horses daily and doing agility with my dog to struggle to get up each morning, suffering week long migraines and pain and weakness head to toe.

I started to get very down about how my life had changed and had put on weight due to the medication so decided to set myself a goal to see what was possible with this disease. So I thought, “Go big or go home” and set a rough date to attempt to complete the National 3 Peaks Challenge. I wrote a long, slow training plan and just aimed to get back out walking and see how my body coped.

woman walking road

To start out with just a couple of miles was hard work and left me drained but within a few weeks of doing it regularly, I seemed to settle into it and began increasing distance. I had good weeks and bad. Some training walks I couldn’t do whilst others I felt amazing. I lost a little weight and felt so much better in myself. I’d always said it was more about the training and getting back out there than the actual challenge but after 6 months of training, we drove to Scotland to start!

I managed to walk up and down Ben Nevis, Scarfell Pike, and Snowdon in just over 24 hours! It was incredibly difficult and I felt like giving up multiple times but didn’t. Because I’d carefully trained I also recovered reasonably quickly. I never in a million years thought I’d complete this insane challenge but I proved if you put your mind to it and take your time you can!

I’ve continued to keep up my walking doing one longer walk each week as I find it helps my pain levels but also boosts my morale hugely. Our bodies may be struggling but our minds are strong. You just have to take those first few steps.