Walking before I can run…

On Sunday, I completed a 17 and a half mile walk (18 and a half if you include the walk from the car park to the start!) and I survived! In fact my feet had no blisters at the end and my legs didn’t ache (as much as I thought)….so as well as bowing down to my walking boots, I also began to think that I had dreamt the whole thing! But no. I, along with six other poor sods, battled through the windy, wet and cold country side and left our mark in aid of Border Collie Trust. And I have pictures as evidence 😉

peak 4

We did the High Peak Trail….

Yeh, we did the High Peak Trail and boy did it start ‘high’ – or at least we had to get ‘high’ (I’m talking in terms of height, not drugs here lol) The first 2 and 1/2 miles were uphill and VERY steep! They were they worst 2 and 1/2 miles and I’m so glad they were at the beginning! Phew…. we had cupcake treats at the top as a reward. Burn some calories and then use them up is my motto 😀

The best reward for an uphill slog!

The best reward for an uphill slog!

 

After that, we had the comforting thought of ‘only’ 15 miles to go!!! Haha. I joked that at least it wasn’t 30- always looking on the bright side me …. and I knew there was light at the end of the tunnel…..

......Literally!

……Literally!

It was so wet for most of the walk and our motto ‘it will brighten up soon!’ soon gave way to our new motto of constantly calling out ‘cyclist!’ every few minutes as crazy cyclists rallied past in the muddy, saturated conditions. As for splashing us, we didn’t mind about that because we honestly couldn’t get any wetter, dirtier or  colder – but we did feel that getting run over by the two-wheeled beasts would somehow make the walk a negative experience 😉 so we moved aside!

CYCLIST!!!!

CYCLIST!!!!

Luckily, the weather bearing all elements, our drenched clothes also managed to dry themselves in the raging winds. We also enjoyed a whole minute of sunshine too at one point 😉 It was great, though, to know you were doing something for a good cause and out in the fresh air getting exercise. We got to  see some fantastic scenery (masked by mist a little I’ll admit)….

 

peaks

The perfect peaks

So all in all, it was a fun experience and I guess I would do it again (don’t ask me for a good while though!) The last mile was the hardest (after those first 2 and a half) and it felt like there was an eternity of walking to the end of the world! I saw our helpers and got all excited and then realised they were walking the last mile with us!! But we finally made it….. wine, a nice warm car and toilets all awaiting us 🙂

Wahoooo

Wahoooo

 

If you would still like to donate to the Border Collie Trust (now you know I have actually completed it!) then go the Just Giving Page: http://www.justgiving.com/highpeakwalk – every penny helps to rehome dogs every year, so it would be very much appreciated! 🙂

To see a previous post about my volunteering for the Border Collie Trust, go to: https://samanthagray9.wordpress.com/2013/03/04/barking-mad/

If you have the chance to do a sponsored walk, go for it! As I say, I’d do it again, but not a run. No, I’ll stick with walking 🙂

XSXS

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Miles of Smiles

Today it has rained. My work day hasn’t exactly gone to plan. Nothing major has happened, don’t get me wrong. I am just feeling a little blah; I don’t feel at all like smiling. But I was reading some inspirational quotes on the internet (I was actually looking for something – I don’t just do that to cheer myself up…. wine has done that!) … and  saw one about smiling:

‘I smile because I have absolutely no idea what is going on!’

I have that on a fridge magnet actually and it reminds me a lot of myself. I do smile a lot – I normally manage it even when I am in a bad mood. You know why? Because it makes me feel good/or better and if I am already feeling happy then it helps it to radiate outwards! I feel good and it may help others to feel good  too! More people should do it on a daily basis.

I like to smile inanely at whoever I pass in the street or the corridor at work. My reasoning for this: I would much rather someone think I am insane than think I am grumpy! So I smile away and take that risk 😉

A smile can mean so many things: a greeting, an acknowledgment, an agreement  – all are positive. Another one of my favourite smile quotes is:

‘Everyone smiles in the same language.’

How lovely and oh so true. Language can be a barrier but a smile can say so much and everyone knows it is a positive expression. Smiling can bring people together and by god our world needs more of it. So turn your frowns upside down (even on a rainy evening like this!) and just SMILE. Remember… as grannies often say; ‘frowns can give you wrinkles!’ And they’ve lived long enough to know how important a simple smile can be 🙂

‘One lonely person.

One other lonely person.

One shy smile,

one friendly grin.

Two happy people.’

So spread some happiness today… even if you don’t feel it inside yourself. Once you smile and someone reciprocates…

… you will be smiling on the inside too 🙂

XSXS

Tattoos: Too Tatty?

Tattoos are things that people rarely sit on the fence about. They are bit like marmite; people love them or hate them!  People can go a little bit crazy with them… and my rule is: if there is more ink than skin, then that ain’t a good look! And as for having people’s names tattooed – a bit boring, unoriginal and could result in disaster. You don’t want to get divorced and have to have a stain removed off your skin amongst everything else. I know, some people have their children’s names tattooed and not just partners – and children are for life like tattoos etc – -but to that I say: Do you really need a reminder every time you look at your arm of what your kids’ names are?!

‘Ah yeh, Abigail, Beth and Harry, my 3 kids, thank god I had them ingrained into my skin for hangover days when I can’t even remember my name, let alone my kids’!’

Mmmmm…… that’s what post-it notes are for  😉 But seriously, even when I have kids I won’t want their names on my arm/shoulder/back. I will love them but I’d rather look at them than at an inky representation of them. And if having kids is like what I’ve heard, then when I finally get a break from them, I won’t want that red ink screaming up at me and reminding me of Sammy junior’s tantrum that morning. (I won’t seriously call my child Sammy Junior, I promise!)

Because, that’s the thing isn’t? Tattoos are for life; not just for that wild, impulsive day you wanted to be ‘young’ again. They become a part of you forever. many people say that they will look awful when you are older and wrinkle up. Well, my response to that is: our whole body will wrinkle up, but with a tattoo we have a souvenir and a reminder of the  ‘good’ old days and we remember why we had it and the person we were then. That’s what I’m hoping anyway……

I have a tattoo. I must be one of the only people to have a tattoo and have absolutely no piercings! I don’t even have my ears pierced. Never been fond of having holes drilled into me – whether they can heal up or not. But I do see tattoos as a form of art and when I left University, my housemate  and I decided to get a tattoo to reflect that part of our lives. It was to signify the end of University life – the last ‘crazy’ thing we would do. (Now though, 6 years later – I know, it wasn’t the last crazy thing I did 😉 ) It was all very thought out and we went to a Tattoo parlour to look at designs, we tried to create our own, we asked around and finally a few weeks later we  had them. I had:

The feminism/female symbol: One friend did joke once; ‘Have you had this so people know you are a girl?!’

 

It is the symbol for feminism and naturally used for women and females a lot too. I  studied feminism a lot at University as part of my English degree. I considered myself a feminist at Uni and also, as I left, I was a strong, confident woman waiting for the  next life step. So, for me, it was the perfect tattoo to get. Do I regret it? No… my only regret is that I didn’t get a bigger version of the symbol! I was such a wimp and so worried that it would a.) go wrong b.) I would regret it …. that I opted for it as small as possible. So, people need a magnifying glass to see it, but it is there! The plus point of this…. when I am older, I won’t be able to see it anyway! 😉 haha.

One reason people are put off- is the pain. I am the biggest wimp. I don’t even like tweezing my eyebrows! This didn’t hurt. That may be because it is a tiny dot of ink 😉 and also because  it is on a fleshy part of my back too. So it depends what you have an where – and what you are prepared to go through.

My boyfriend hates tattoos and didn’t want me to have it. He was on holiday in Austria at the time. I spoke to him briefly on the phone the day before and he was not impressed! But since, it was a feminist tattoo, I was going for, I thought it would be kind of ironic if my boyfriend stopped an independent woman doing what she wanted to do 😉 So I had it. And I love it. It is on my back an I can show it off and hide it when I want to too. I love telling people that I have it, because people always seem shocked. I have no piercings as I said above; I am quite conventional in most ways; I am a book geek. My tattoo is my piece of wild 😉

It was a radio show that inspired me to write this. They were asking listeners what made them want a tattoo and why they chose what they had etc. The one  woman I heard had all her grandchildren on her arm – yawn. But she did say that when you have  one, you do want more and this part I agree with. When I turn 30, I want another one to reflect that part of my life. Another small symbol I think – that can keep my other lonely one company 🙂

Some questions to leave with you:

  • Do you have one? Would you have one?

  • What do you think of children’s/people’s names on them?

  • And… what can I have for my next one?!

 

XSXS