Having a Moment. Doubting my Abilities.

posted in: Bucket List, Health & Fitness, Outdoors | 16

On Monday I went for a walk. Nothing unusual about that per se, I like to walk, and being a bank holiday I had a whole day to partake in one of my favourite pastimes. Except on Monday the plan was to walk further than I have ever walked in one go – at least 30 miles. This was to be my longest training walk for the Lyke Wake Walk and also a bit of a personal milestone; until Monday I had done a handful of marathon length walks on varying terrain, but nothing more than the 26.2 miles that is seen as the cut-off point of possibility for many.

8 August - Walking on the Viking Way

If I am completely honest, and I like to be so here on my blog, I spent the week or so before this walk worrying about the whole idea. It’s been planned quite a while, but I felt overtired and that I had put a lot of pressure on myself. I made the mistake, I thought, of announcing my intentions on twitter during #LincsHour on Monday evening, and lots of my Lincolnshire friends had picked up on it and tweeted me with various messages of good luck. It was lovely, but that was it, I had committed to this and had to at least try.

Half my brain was saying: “I love walking. I’ve done loads of it before. Walking is easy. It’s just left foot, right foot, repeat.

The other half then added: “It takes nearly an hour to *drive* to Boston. There is no way I can walk that far. I’m too tired already and I haven’t started yet.

Anyway, despite what half my brain thought, I got on with the business of sorting out my route and my kit and set my alarm nice and early for Monday morning. I had a back-up thanks to my sister in case things didn’t go to plan, and was going to do my best to walk at least 30 miles.

The Water Railway from Lincoln to Boston - Footpath

You will know by now because I’ve already blogged about it, that I did achieve my goal and walked 32.5 miles in total. It took me 10 hours. The last six miles was on a difficult footpath along the river and my feet got wet, which put paid to my wish to make it all the way into Boston town centre as I had nothing left by the time I reached Langrick Bridge. Not a failure because I’d already reached my goal, but not a total success as I technically did not walk all the way from Lincoln to Boston. I’ve ticked it off my bucket list anyway!

I am definitely still feeling the after effects of the walk. My thighs and calf muscles are sore, my ankles hurt, and I have a couple of blisters that are a bit better but still niggling. I really struggled on Tuesday to move around my own house which was very frustrating (and painful). I’m nowhere near as bad as that now, but the memory is there, and it worries me.

The other day Challenge Sophie wrote a great blog post on feeling inspired to ride her bike. When speaking of a challenge in Mallorca she’s signed up to, she used the phrase “I might have done something a little silly…”.

Well right now, following my walk on Monday, that is exactly how I feel about this whole Lyke Wake Walk thing. I feel a little silly. Ok, I feel quite a lot silly.

The Water Railway from Lincoln to Boston - Station

I am no full time athlete. I am no fitness fanatic. I am actually quite lazy; I hardly do any real exercise – I rely on the stuff I can fit in my daily life, and walking. I have very little time for training and when I do have the time I rarely have the inclination. But even with all that I have this strange desire to push myself beyond anything I have achieved before, in small moments of self-confidence I think “I can do that” and off I go with my big mouth and blogging fingers. But when reality hits I wonder what on earth I am doing and how silly I have been in thinking it is possible. Self-doubt kicks in big time and rather than using that to train hard so I know I can achieve what I want, I use it and tiredness as an excuse to eat ice cream and watch rubbish on the television. Mmmmm ice cream.

I’m not unusual, am I?

Right now, a few days after walking further than I ever have before in one go, when I should be feeling pretty satisfied with myself, I am not feeling inspired or empowered or like I can meet the Lyke Wake Walk challenge head on. That walk on Monday has not proved to me that I can do it. Instead I am feeling sore, disheartened and very worried. Have I bitten off more than I can chew? Yes, I think so. I am starting to pay too much attention to those who ask why on earth I’m doing this.

Nature's Spaces in Lincoln - The Viking Way

Am I ready to give up on the Lyke Wake Walk? The fact that I have told everyone about it here on Splodz Blogz means I am not going to (just like my walk on Monday!). I know I am just having a moment, doubting my abilities, and hopefully it will pass. I will be attempting the Lyke Wake Walk with Jenni in June. I will give it my best shot. I just know that between now and then I need to do a lot more training and an awful lot more work on my positive attitude.

As always, any and all help/advice/suggestions would be much appreciated. Comment below or feel free to email me. Please. Thank you.


16 Responses

  1. Angela Bora (@ab2159)

    Oh Zoe, I read that with tears in my eyes. How can you doubt yourself? You are brilliant. You have done so much over the years that so many of us would NEVER attempt. I really enjoy reading about what you are doing. If you think you are lazy then there is no hope for many, especially me!! I’m only half way through my Couch 2 5K challenge which had to be put on hold due to illness but I’m not giving up. In fact I will be out there finishing week 4 as soon as I’ve finished this. So keep up the good work you have done so far and look forward to your Lyke Wake Walk, which I’m sure will be a roaring success. My Mum always told me when I was feeling low and downhearted to read Psalm 121, I still do it, might be worth a quick read! Take care, see you soon.x

    • Splodz

      Thank you Angela, some very kind words here and they are very much appreciated. Your mum was always a very wise lady x How did the end of week four go? You’ll be signing up for marathons like Lou soon!

  2. Veronica Addis

    Well said, Angela. And I think after a high there is always a low, anti-climax of some sort. But Zoe is amazing and I’ve always looked up to her and love her no fear attitude to trying new and daring stuff. Go big sis!

    • Splodz

      Thank you xxxx You are (usually) right – Monday was a hard day and there was inevitably going to be a period of lower feeling, especially as I was, still am, exhausted. I am not amazing, though, just a bit silly 🙂

  3. Andrew Thorne

    It’s been many years and no doubt many changes and re inventions but the Zoe I knew was stubborn, driven, determined and ultimately successful. From what I’ve seen of you over the past few years on FB Zoe of today isn’t exactly a watered down version, if anything a turbo charged version. If anyone can achieve something in their heart it is you. A man much, much wiser than me once wrote….you gotta keep the faith! X

    • Splodz

      Hey, and thanks xx Yea I am a bit stubborn aren’t I. That definitely hasn’t changed! I don’t want to be another wave in the ocean 🙂

  4. Cheryl @ Madhouse Family Reviews

    Whether or not you manage it, the important thing is giving it a go (because you’ll regret it otherwise) and having fun. After all, life’s about the journey, not the destination, so it doesn’t matter if you shift the goalposts and make it into a shorter journey ! 🙂

    • Splodz

      You are absolutely right. Life is all about the journey and this is part of mine, I need to remember that. I shall certainly be giving the walk my best shot, but between now and then the journey is about getting stronger legs and a stronger mind to make my chances of reaching the destination a bit better.

  5. mumugb

    Zoe, I love walking too. And congrats for doing it! How about we go for a walk together, say, in the Mongolian steppes?

    • Splodz

      I’m ashamed to say I have just had to google the Mongolian Steppes – wow looks stunning! I certainly shan’t say no, you never know what might be possible in the future 🙂

  6. The Thrifty Magpies Nest

    Zoe you have just accomplished 30+ miles, by yourself. No one asked you to do it- you took on yourself as a challenge, as preparation and as proof you can walk further than you every have before and you did it!

    I understand doubt. I suffer from feelings of doubt in many aspects of my life. No real reason. It’s just there, niggling at me.

    The Lyke Wake Walk is a challenge and thus requires one to be challenged to complete it in the allocated 24 hours. If it was easy it wouldn’t be a challenge. If we don’t manage it, so what?! We attempted the challenge. No one will be judging you but you and you have total control of that.

    You have been practicing for a start. I haven’t! I have a long walk booked with a friend in May to practice and I plan to increase my jogging distance but havent had the self motivation to push myself harder.

    I’m not really thinking about it. I’m just going to go and do it. That’s how I work. I don’t like to set expectations. I get told I’m negative when I tell people this but it’s my personal way with dealing with situations.

    Also, remember we will be doing this together. It will be easier having each other to support each other the whole way 🙂

    Jenni x
    The Thrifty Magpies Nest

    • Splodz

      Hey Jenni and thanks, you are right, very wise lady. Yes, I did do this on my own and yes I actually go ahead and do it – just because I set the challenge for myself. I think that is actually quite key here, it was a lonely day, especially in the afternoon, and I overcame that. So thank you. I think I have pulled myself together a bit now and am looking forward to the next challenge again – we will be there for each other over every mile and have 24 hours so can be steady and still have time. And yes, if we don’t make it, so what – who actually cares except us. I like how you don’t set the expectation, I’m all too good at worrying. Thanks x

  7. sophie Radcliffe

    Hi Zoe,

    Such a beautifully written, heartfelt blog! You should be very proud of what you achieved, I’m proud of you! You set a goal that scared, yet inspired, you. You made a plan, you executed your plan when you felt worried and you ignored the fears that threatened to play havoc in your mind. You achieved more than your goal! Well done.

    Nothing great is easy!

    There’s always this big gaping whole of unknown between where we are today and where we want to be when we set big goals. In that unknown is where all our fears, doubts and anxieties lie and it’s and that’s ok. It’s important to recognise that but to be confident in ourselves, and the challenges we set ourselves. You have everything to play for! Nothing to loose by giving it your best shot and everything to gain!

    Keep focusing on that feeling you get when you think about how it would feel to complete this walk and achieve your goal. Let yourself dream and visualise that feeling and use it to address your doubts.

    At the end of the day, you believe life is about the journey. If in the journey to your goals you learn, grow and experience new things, then whether you achieve the desired outcome or not is neither here nor there.

    Keep striving and keep believing xxxx

    • Splodz

      Thank you Sophie. As always you speak a lot of sense. I look up to your ability to set goals and achieve them. I will definitely be taking your advice – it’s hard not to give in to the doubting in my head, something I am working on for sure. Yes, life is all about the journey, and this little wobble is just part of mine. I am actually really excited about the walk, even though I worry about it, I smile inside when I think about that sea view that means I have done it. That is my focus.

  8. grethe

    Hello, thank you so much for linking up with #midweekmixup. I think you’re absolutely amazing for walking that far. It’s a real achievement !

    • Splodz

      Thanks, #midweekmixup is a great idea, hopefully I’ll be able to join in regularly. And thanks, I should just see it as that.

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