I live in Shoeburyness, but work in Southend-On-Sea as a volunteer at Southend University Hospital. Almost three years ago I was contacted by the Public Health Team asking if I’d be interested in attending their walking training sessions held at the Forum. I was intrigued as to what I could learn so said yes.
Having attended I am definitely pleased to have said yes, not least because mentioning the training to a member of the Ideas in Motion team led me to receive a leadership role. They thought that with my training I would be an ideal candidate to lead their lunch time walks- which I did for a whole summer!
You’d be surprised at the amount of people who don’t know how to cross a road safely, and not to mention the number of people who forget to look out for cyclists! I felt that with my experience and training I could offer sound advice on how to ensure that crossing roads is as safe as possible, as well as reminding walkers of the importance of looking out for cyclists.
I really enjoyed the level of responsibility and authority that leading the walks gave me and I especially enjoyed the number of diverse people I had the pleasure of meeting. I generally consider myself to be a fast walker, and think those who attended the sessions rather appreciated this, because after all, if a walk isn’t made challenging then what’s actually being achieved? Sure, it’s a great opportunity to take in new scenery and meet new people, but getting fit is also important; something I’ve really started to value.
As well as leading numerous lunchtime walking sessions- sometimes up to a number of 30 people- I also helped out in leading various other walks held by Ideas in Motion, such as the Southend Pier walk. In preparation for the pier walk I decided to complete a bit of research. I felt it was important to offer those attending the walk something additional and I enjoyed researching the pier. I also lent my hand to some of the route planning, suggesting that instead of walking down a hill we should walk up. I’m pretty sure I was unpopular after that! But it was all for the good.
I have taken the lead on several walking sessions and I still walk often. Of course I still have to rely on using the bus for part of my journey, walking from Shoeburyness to Southend-On-Sea is a lot to ask of anyone but now when I take the bus I get off a couple of stops earlier than I usually would, and walk the remaining ten minute distance to the hospital. Also, at the start of the New Year I set myself a new goal! With the use of my Ideas in Motion pedometer I aim to clock up to 10,000 steps a day. I sometimes even surpass this and have managed over 13,000 steps in one day! You can achieve a lot- when you set your mind to it.
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