Testing the test

Waking up at 3.30am wasn’t the plan. Waking up to a panic attack DEFINITELY wasn’t the plan. Even, going out for my 13 mile walk 4 hours later than planned, was not the plan.

I was tested this morning even before the actual test began, and waking up to the panic attack mid-sleep, ¬†was I mad that I didn’t turn my back to walking the 13 miles?

Getting out of bed this morning a bit delirious, with my body a shaking wreck, the moment I finally stepped out of my front door, my mum was worried.

Was I stupid for walking this morning?

The way I look at it, is in January, I have no choice. A slightly aching hamstring, a tough night sleep, whatever it may be, January is going to test me to the max, and a max I don’t think I’ve ever faced. I have never faced such a monstrous fate, with the unknown expected to hit me the moment I take my first few steps.

Arriving in Winchester today at 11:39am for today’s walk, I didn’t know what to expect. I didn’t know whether after the rough night, I’d be mentally ready to battle more demons I faced in my last walk.

It’s been 3 weeks since I took on my first attempt of Southampton to Winchester (click here to read all about it), and today, I done the route in reverse. The route was more downhill, and a realisation kicked in.

Whilst listening to my acoustic playlist on Spotify, a song hit me for six. ‘I didn’t know my own strength’ covered by Andrea Faustini, brought a tear to my eye. Was today’s walk about to show me how strong I really am, and how the panic attack met it’s match?


I started walking and the first few steps were tough. The first few steps through Winchester Town Centre were slow, with many people blocking the way, and the need to stop to wait for the lights to change colour already started to push me physically.


Now, that I’m in a properly designed programme, created with my personal training experience, the opportunity to yet again use an experience I’d rather forget and use it for good showed me the light.

I talk about the light quite a lot now on John’s Road to Volunteering, as we always believe other people or day to day occurrences to be our light, but in truth, we’re our own light.


We might not know it. We might not even see it. But the light shining down on our journey is our future selves. That’s what pushed me today to walk, and walk, and walk a bit further.

Walking solo isn’t exactly a nice experience, but listening to music REALLY helps. It gives me the extra bit of motivation I need when I hit a potential wall.

A potential wall I didn’t face today, as I believed in myself. I believed I was in a fit state to walk and I believed I was ready to test my mentality once again. This is what this morning’s motivation was. It wasn’t January, it wasn’t getting home to my bed, it was putting myself out of my comfort zone.

My training programme is going to test the test every step of the way, and I’m excited. I’m excited to now have a strict programme, where I’ll be following my day to day plans, as I believe in what I’ve learned. I believe my mind will take my body over the finish line.


Sharing my first picture this morning of the beautiful scenery around me, it confirmed for me that I need to road walk to Aberdeen as much as I can. I need to road walk, so as I pass through various towns and cities, I can meet you all (obviously if you want to meet me). I want to use this walk as a reason to meet so many people who’ve supported my journey and to thank them in person by getting them to walk with me.

I’m not on about the 18 – 26 miles I could be doing each day, but to walk a mile or two and to get to know each other more. It’s part of the reason why I blog. I blog to share my story, but that story has all of you in it.

All of you have been incredible supporters of my journey and I want to meet you. I want to see you wearing a challenge t-shirt, to know that when you got home, you helped me in some way. (More details about this in Saturday’s blog)

Anyway back to today…

As I was walking the streets of the Hampshire countryside, a past heartache came back. At the age of 17, I was on the cusp of travelling to America on an athletics scholarship, yet a knee injury stopped me. Whilst training for it, my knees didn’t like anything associated with the word ‘downhill’. It was confirmed again today!!


I don’t mind hill walking, but my knees just don’t cope. They’re fine, don’t worry. It’s just another obstacle I’ll face in January and throughout my training, but that test was completed.


I wouldn’t be typing this blog post today if I didn’t pass today’s test. The test saw me climbing various hills, trying not to injure myself downhill and a feisty attitude to getting done what was needed to be done.

I need to put in the miles (tip by Kate at The Adventures of Kate) and as I get further into my programme, I’ll be more on the road and less in the gym, and that’s something I’m not used to.

It’s another test waiting for me, but it’ll be another test I’ll conquer.



One thought on “Testing the test

  1. I like how realistic this post was, sometimes we have setbacks but it was encouraging to see the way you didn’t let a bad start to the day stop you. Best of luck in your future plans! Thanks for sharing x


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s