#MoveMoreInMarch Is this pledge changing my mentality? Already?

Since starting my pledge to #MoveMoreInMarch, I had managed to walk 35.11 miles by the end of Thursday 9th March – an average of 3.9 miles a day – so I was well on track to achieving my pledged 100 miles (an average of 3.23 miles a day).

However, I woke up on Friday feeling overwhelmingly tired. It happens sometimes.  I saw clients in the morning, but by lunchtime my energy hadn’t returned.  I worked through the afternoon, hoping that the exhaustion would pass – it didn’t.  By the time I went to bed, I had managed a paltry 1.12miles or 2,639 steps.  I felt very frustrated, but interestingly – looking at my ‘Step history’ – I walked less than this distance on 10 separate days in February and didn’t feel frustrated about it then. Is this pledge changing my mentality? Already? When I went to bed last night I decided not to set my alarm and to sleep as long as my body needed, which was just over eight and a half hours and I woke far less tired than the previous day.

I texted my friend Pauline (a local amateur photographer) who had planned to go to Gloucester Docks today, to take some photos.  I decided I would walk to meet her and we arranged to walk to the Docks together.  As I left the house, I checked my Fitbit… only to notice the flat-battery symbol! How frustrating.  I grabbed the charger from the car, thinking I could charge it at Pauline’s prior to walking to the Docks.  I was about half-way into my journey when I realised I had picked up the phone charger instead of the Fitbit charger!

Thankfully, my Fitbit didn’t die before I arrived at Pauline’s.  She photographed the ‘miles’ and the ‘steps’ displayed, and from that point we were dependent on her tracker.  After a quick visit to the pharmacy for some blister plasters (I had made the mistake of wearing new trainers and very thin socks) we popped into the closest sports shop for some ‘padded’ socks, which I duly put on, before we continued to the Docks. 


We detoured to Gloucester Quays Shopping Outlet, where we both bought proper ‘walking shoes’ (I confess that my heels were so sore that I wore my new walking shoes out of the shop!) before moving on to the Docks to take photos. 


Arriving back at Pauline’s we noted how far we had walked.  To my surprise, despite the flat battery, my Fitbit was able to display my miles and I already knew how many miles my walk home would be, from walking to Pauline’s from my house in the morning.  To my delight, when I arrived home, my Fitbit managed to display the total miles I had walked today and sync with my iPad!  To say I’m impressed with the performance of my Fitbit is an understatement.


It’s surprising how much you notice when you walk.  I spotted my first honey bee and my first bumble bee, both feasting on fragrant mahonia. In fact, walking through Barnwood Arboretum on the way home, my senses were seduced by the scent of the blossom.  It really is a beautiful time of year and it makes me think just how much I would be missing, if I hadn’t pledged to #MoveMoreInMarch. If you live a sedentary lifestyle, why not try it?




Why a man with one leg has inspired me to #MoveMoreInMarch

People who know me will know I’m passionate about fundraising. I live it, breathe it, do it, coach it and follow others who do it.  This blog post is dedicated to another fundraiser, who has inspired me to do something I really should have started doing a LONG time ago!

Mark Pattenden is an amputee.  Mark and I have been Facebook friends for a few years now.  We are both fundraisers. We ‘like and share’ each other’s posts on social media.  Those of you who follow me on Twitter may have noticed me sharing posts last year, when Mark was the first amputee to #RunTheGreatWallOfChina, thanks to a very special ‘running blade’ which was provided by Dorset Orthopaedic, one of the world’s leading providers of prosthetic and orthotic services, and for whom Mark is an Ambassador.  (For more technical details about the ‘blade’ please read Mark’s blog.)

Mark’s Great Wall charity challenge raised enough money to provide another amputee, Kelly Jackson, with a running blade.  Mark has a dream… his dream is that by helping to fund Kelly’s running blade, that Kelly in turn will run and raise money for a running blade for another amputee.  It’s a brilliant initiative and one that Mark is determined will succeed… so much so, that he has pledged to run 10k a day, EVERY DAY, from 1st March until 31st December, or at least until £9k has been raised to fund the next running blade.  Kelly is on-board with the initiative.  She has set up a VirginMoneyGiving page and has entered herself for the Birmingham 10k later this year.  The recipient of the third running blade will be Hannah Moore, who is also helping with the fundraising and has entered the Supernova 5k walk/run.  Together, this fabulous trio aim to raise the £9k needed for Hannah’s blade, and then… guess what? They will do the same again, for a fourth amputee.  It’s a brilliant #PayItForward initiative, or perhaps I should say #BladeItForward

So what has this all got to do with me and what exactly HAS Mark inspired me to do? Well, I work from home.  I am a Life & Business Coach, Cambridge Weight-Plan Consultant, Talk Therapist, Fundraising Consultant and in my spare time, I love to write.  ALL of my work involves sitting down and I ‘sit’ for most of the day. When I don’t have clients, I work on various charity initiatives, or catch-up with my paperwork. I have a Fitbit and out of curiosity I analysed how much I actually do move.  Over the last 4 months (November to February) I walked a total of 192 miles or 310km.  This equates to an average of 2.58km a day.  By comparison, Mark has pledged to RUN 10k a day for 10 months (unless their £9k target is reached earlier). In March he will run 310km, which is exactly the same amount as I have WALKED – on two rather chunky legs – in 4 MONTHS! He puts me to shame! So things are going to change!

I PLEDGE to #MoveMoreInMarch! No excuses! I might not have much free time in the day, but I will make time! I pledge to walk (briskly) for at least an hour every day. My goal is to walk 100 miles in March! My fitness levels will increase and my weight will decrease! Even as I type this, my pledge sounds slightly pathetic.  It is only two thirds of the recommended 10,000 steps a day (approx 5 miles/8km)  but everyone needs to start somewhere and as they say ‘great oaks from little acorns grow’!  An average of 3.23 miles (5.19km) a day is double my usual average of 1.6 miles (2.58km) a day.  Who knows, I might even be able to convert my #Cankles2Ankles, although that’s quite a big ask! And as a ‘thank you’ to Mark for inspiring me to get off my backside and use the two legs that I have, I will make a donation to his #BladeItForward initiative at the end of March, once I reach my goal.  I will be completely honest about whether or not I have achieved my goal. I will pledge a donation of £31 (which represents £1 a day) and sent Mark weekly screenshots of my Fitbit summary.  If I don’t reach my goal by the end of March, I will double my donation to £62.

I am writing this blog on the evening of St. David’s Day.  St. David urged his followers to ‘Do the little things in life’ (‘Gwnewch y pethau bychain mewn bywyd’) and this has become an established inspirational saying in Wales.  100 miles may not be a huge distance to walk in a month and £31 is certainly not a massive donation, but thanks to a very inspirational man I will be ‘doing a little thing in life’ which will help to make a difference to someone else’s life.  Who’s going to join me?