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  • Jon Barnett

Walking: What it means to me.

OK, I'm not going to preach, I'll just put a few ideas down and perhaps they'll resonate with a few of you. Maybe they'll even inspire you to get those old boots out from under the stairs and head out.


It's been a tough 18 months for many of us with the restrictions in place for months on end and seeing the perfect pictures on Instagram of the hills and mountains popping up didn't help our yearnings. Whilst the majority resisted the temptation, a few selfish folk let the side down, but I reckon most of them will learn from their mistakes.


I WALK WHILST I STILL CAN.


Seriously. We must never, ever, take walking for granted. Whether it's getting the morning paper, walking the dog, taking on a mountain challenge or a long distance path. If you can walk, then you are lucky, because there are plenty of people out there that would give you everything for your legs.


I WALK TO EXPLORE



As you'll know from my first blog, I grew up in the shadow of the Malvern Hills. The perfect place to learn to explore. We were given the freedom to roam the Hills from an early age which ultimately gave me the confidence to pursue this everywhere I've lived since.


Get off the beaten track, move away from the 'honey pots' and find those tranquil idylls tucked away behind a forgotten tor, an ancient woodland, a tiny cove only accessible by foot, the list is endless. You'll see and hear wildlife in its true home, nowhere but everywhere.


The UK is quite possibly the most diverse landscape in the world, if you can give it some time it will repay you with fond memories and places that stay in your mind forever.


I WALK TO LEARN


A bit cheesy? I don't care. I love it.


I've recently been learning more about Dartmoor, a place I'd resented until a few years ago (anyone who has spent time in the military will understand).


I will always try and find a few nuggets on the history of a place such as the man made leat I discovered just yesterday, built in 1790 to give drinking water to the people of Plymouth. Me and a mate walked to the source of it, located between Beardown Tors and Littaford Tors. The ingenuity and engineering of our predecessors sometimes actually confuses me!



I WALK TO GET AWAY FROM PEOPLE AND I WALK TO MEET PEOPLE


Yep, we all need our own space and we should all strive to be able to be on our own for periods of time, listening to just our own voices in our heads. It's liberating and we should do it more often. You are not missing out walking on your own, everyone else is missing out!


Meeting new people in my job is a given, I love listening to people's stories and hearing about other people's journeys and if I've helped them overcome their fears or helped them meet new friends then that'll do for me.


Keeping in touch with old buddies through a planned walk is probably the best medicine with a catch up on the hills and a few jars in the evening is hard to beat.



I WALK FOR MY HEALTH


Our bones are useless without muscles attached to them. Well that muscle mass decreases pretty rapidly if they're not stimulated which is going to invite a whole raft of problems in later life. As I said at the start, I won't preach.

The added bonus with being at one with nature is that it will give you the opportunity to reboot you brain and think more clearly. I come back from a walk buzzing with ideas.


Of course our mental health can benefit hugely too, this is well documented and I've seen its effects many times. If you know someone struggling right now, the best thing you can do for them is to take them on a walk away from the chaos and confusion and allow nature to work its magic.

I JUST WALK.........AND SOMETIMES STRETCH !



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