Actually, it’s a water walk. Well, actually, it’s a walk by water, and not free flowing fresh or salt water, no, stagnant, smelly canal water.
I had the idea some time ago, to walk from Leeds to Liverpool along the aptly titled Leeds/Liverpool canal and I have finally got around to making it real. Which is quite an achievement for me. I have ideas quite regularly, its the following through with them part I’m not so good at.
So here’s the sitch, I’ll try and be brief:
In 2004, I was diagnosed with ME aka Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). Without going into major detail (which I will in the About page at some point) it’s a much maligned but very real illness that can have devastating effects. It certainly devastated me. I was ill for five years to varying degrees but finally found a treatment that lead to my recovery in 2009 since which time I have been rebuilding my life.
As the name would suggest, one of the main symptoms of ME/CFS is fatigue, physical, mental, mind-crushingly awful fatigue, brought on by the smallest and most basic and taken-for-granted of activities. Like walking. At times the simple act of walking, be it to the shop or to the end of the garden would leave me exhausted and in pain. Needless to say the joy I get from walking today, full of health and fitness once more, knows no bounds.
And what better way to celebrate than walking the 127 miles of the Leeds/Liverpool canal from start to finish? Of course, I’m not going to do it in one day, I may be out of my mind but I’m not completely crazy. I aim to do it in 6 days, roughly 20 miles a day, and I’m taking the dog, who happens to be called Skye. See, it’s all making sense now, huh?
Here comes the begging bit. I’m not just doing this for the fun of walking a lot. I’m trying to raise money for charity. Little is known about ME/CFS, there is no test, no acknowledged cure and very little funding and, therefore, very little research. The charity I have chosen is Invest in ME, it is an Independent Charity campaigning for biomedical research into ME. I have set up a fundraising page where you can make a donation or pledge.
As well as this blog, I have a Twitter and Facebook, all of which I will be updating during the walk (firm dates not set yet but mid September), during my training and will of course use to beg for money before the walk, and to hound you for your pledges after the walk. Nearer the time I’m going to try and set up an interactive map so you can stalk me whilst I’m on the walk. Please follow and like and comment and what have you.