My Pilgrimage: Kinder Scout

 

What can I do on a bank holiday Monday in the rainy UK? I know, lets climb a mountain… *sigh*

Some of you may be aware that for the last 2.5 years I have been steadily trying to lose weight. I have tried running, swimming, kickboxing and cycling, and thanks to the other half I now can add mountain walking to that list. Of course this wouldn’t be a graceless story without a few mishaps now would it?

The day began with a missed alarm, a 3 hour delay and a VERY patient Jon.

So our 8:00am start didn’t really happen, we both slept through our alarms and woke up late. After that there were tears, a pep talk and trousers that didn’t fit (oh the chubby girl problems), we ended up reaching Kinder at about 11:20am. We quickly changed our shoes and gathered our supplies, thinking that this was it, we are on our way.

HA! Nope. We actually got into the walk at around 11:50am thanks to this graceless muggins and her infamous clumsy ways. We began the walk and I felt that my bag was a little lighter than it was 10 minutes ago, I felt the bottom and it was saturated. I said to Jon, “my bag is wet, like really wet”, he thought it was just the rain. SIDE NOTE! When we turned up to Kinder it looked like this:

You couldn’t see two feet in front of you and the mist immediately soaked you through. Therefore, Jon’s suggestion was justified, but I still didn’t quite feel right. I said “No, my bum is soaking!” He lovingly made me take off my bag so he could check it out and we found that not only had I put my new hydration bladder in the wrong way round I had also not attached the tube correctly and water was flowing into the bottom of my bag, drenching my lunch and leaking out onto my clothes.

GracelessLiving Pro-tip: For others thinking of purchasing this product, do not trust the way it comes, check everything and reattach everything in order to avoid a soggy bottom in a variety of ways. 

After emptying the contents of my bag and the 300 or so ml of water, we finally set off for Kinder Scout and the first 40 minutes made me regret my decision. It was steep, it was uphill, and it was humid as hell. I was miserable. I thought, what did I get myself into? The trouser situation that morning was a sign, my body was not meant to be put through this kind of torture. I tried explaining this to Jon, who is leaping like a salmon up this mountain. He was very supportive and listened, once I had caught my breath I realised that it was the chub talking and I actually love this stuff.

Here are the stats for what we did that day: 

For someone like me who has never really put their body through something like this, it came as shock but also as a challenge, and then it was a point to prove. I began to look at the walk in a different way. In the beginning I felt like it was going to be more difficult and embarrassing for those around me, but slowly it became less about others and more about proving to myself that I can do this.

My weight wasn’t the thing that was holding me back, it was my mind. My body is more than capable of doing something this active. I am the one that was saying “I can’t”. I was using the fact that as I had to pull around more weight than the average person, there is no possible way I could get my body to do the things I needed it to do. Therefore, I should just give up, and go back the way I came. My weight, if I would let it, would hold me back from realising my true potential. So I continued on and lifted my spirits.

 

img_2599We came to a gorge that takes us up 609m to the top of the mountain. You basically climb up a waterfall. It is gorgeous and perilous for someone like me. One wrong foot placement (which would be highly likely) and all you have to fall on are rocks. I took a deep breath and shouted “LLLLEEERRROOOYYYY, let’s do this”.  Jon being the adventurous and nimble type bounded up the gorge a bit quicker than me, but encouraged me to take it at my own pace. (40 minutes to be exact, boom!) We stopped a few times to gather our breath but always kept moving forward, one rock at a time. Until, it ended. I had made it and the thoughts I had 40 minutes ago had been left behind in the mist.

Half way up the gorge

There is nothing else like the feeling of accomplishment that I felt at the top of that mountain. In that moment I was defying the nay-sayers and the societal expectation that comes with being “obese”. I could and did do it. Now don’t get me wrong, it was difficult and I am very bruised, someone my size does have repercussions when doing this kind of exercise, but it can be done. I can push through the voice in my head that says “turn back, you cannot do it”.

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Once we had reached the top, Jon and I stopped for a well deserved cup of tea and some sandwiches.

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It’s true the more you do this kind of extreme exercise the better you get and the more you enjoy it. I began getting into the walkimg_2612 and started smiling and taking in my surroundings. I wasn’t miserable anymore, I was having a great time.  I was at the top of a mountain, with great company and what could of been a fantastic view.

 

It was then time to make our decent back down to Edale; which included lots of grass to my delight. The way down was beautiful, I could see happy climbers that would always

img_9807say “hello”, dogs bounding down steep hills with owners running after them, couples holding hands and helping each other along the way.

Once Jon and I had reached level ground I was able to concentrate less on where I was putting my feet and more onto having fun. We stopped for photos and I looked at the way the water rested on the grass, we saw sheep and birds, we listened to how quiet everything was, how peaceful it felt to get out of the city.  Then, I had to run away from Jon throwing water at me. It was such a pleasant place to be and a worthwhile trip overall.

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I overcame a mental block in my weight loss journey that Monday. I am proud of myself for the things that I have accomplished. I learnt a hard lesson that day; it doesn’t matter what you weigh it is your spirit that will keep you going.

…I also found a new appreciation for Nandos’ chicken.  Hey, a girl’s still gotta eat!

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Until next time, make sure to enjoy your own graceless living. 


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