What’s Your Everest?

What’s Your Everest?

As you will already know if you read my blog or follow me on any social media, I am an Ordnance Survey GetOutside Champion this year. It’s an amazing honour and I’m very proud to be amongst such an inspiring group of people. Last week I went along to a hotel in the New Forest to meet my fellow champions and be part of the 2017 campaign launch.

It was a great pleasure to meet my fellow GetOutside Champions (photo courtesy of Ordnance Survey)

I have mentioned before how even though I was so excited when I got the email, it was also quite daunting. As I sat there in that room full of adventurers, mountain climbers and outdoor heroes, I did feel like a bit of a fraud. However, as the day went on, I realised that I do have a part to play and there’s a reason that I was chosen.

I think that it is incredibly important that ‘normal’ people are represented in the GetOutside campaign. People like me who live in urban areas and have limited budgets, time and equipment.

It’s a sad fact that levels of physical activity are frighteningly low across the UK. For example, this survey reports that a quarter of adults walk for less than an hour per month, while children are reported to spend ‘less time outside than prisoners’. With this backdrop, it is more important than ever to have GetOutside champions that the public can relate to.

a collage showing a wood with bluebells, a little boy on a trike and a mum carrying a baby on her back while walking through a wood

I’m definitely all about accessible, family friendly outdoor time

As part of the 2017 GetOutside launch, Sean Conway spoke with passion and humour about his World’s Longest Triathlon, and it was a joy to listen to him. His enthusiasm and love of Britain was inspiring and contagious. For a brief moment I felt decidedly inadequate. Afterall, for a good proportion of my outdoor adventures I don’t get further than my local park, while others push their bodies and minds to the limit.

Then it occurred to me. Somebody who walks a matter of minutes per month isn’t going to suddenly run from Land’s End to John O’Groats. But they might just, with a bit of encouragement, go for a walk down the road, or start taking their children to the park more regularly. Simply spending more time outside can easily become a habit. A healthy, enjoyable, rewarding habit.

And this is the point of my post. Do not compare yourself to others. By all means be inspired by them, admire them and learn from them. But take your own path.

In the spirit of 2017 being a year of inspiration and getting outside, I have set myself a challenge. It’s not Everest, but it’s my Everest. I’m going to do a 50 mile sponsored walk in a day (more details to follow). For me, it is the longest walk I’ve ever attempted and it will push me. It’s a route that I’ve wanted to do for a while, although until now I’ve never considered doing it all in one go. Life is too short to do things by halves.

So what’s your Everest? Maybe you’ve always wanted to do a 5k or a 10k run, maybe you want to give camping a try or maybe you just want to learn how to ride a bike. Make 2017 the year you conquer your mountain.

Let me know your plans by commenting below, or via twitter, facebook or instagram and we can encourage and help each other along. 






  • Christine @afamilyday Christine @afamilyday February 06, at 18:26

    Great post – I’m saddened at your comment about the percentage of adults who walk less than an hour per month! Good luck on your 50 mile walk – I walked 40 miles a couple of years ago, not sure I could face another 10 miles on top 🙂

  • Helen - 1Vision2Girls Helen - 1Vision2Girls February 10, at 08:13

    Great read and it’s totally true, One persons every day might be someone else’s challenge! Good luck with your walk! Iv done 3 x 100km sponsored walks in the past, super tough being on your feet for so many hours but really rewarding, can’t wait to hear how you get on

  • Anna Anna February 10, at 09:46

    This might not be an Everest because you don’t do Everests regularly but I’d love to be able to run a 10 miler comfortably on a regular basis. I feel really inspired by some of my fell running and trail running friends and want to get there too. I always used to set very ambitious running goals and never had too much success with them but this time around I am taking it slowly and steadily. Cycling as cross training, stretching, strengthening. I can and will get to the point I want to be at!
    Best of luck for your goal too!

    • The Helpful Hiker The Helpful Hiker February 18, at 07:34

      Good luck with your running. I’m determined to run again this year, it’s a great hobby. Slow and steady is definitely the way forward!

  • Bex Bex February 10, at 11:51

    Really love this post….you portrayed exactly how I felt when I first started doing adventures. It’s so important to recognise what is a challenge for you personally.
    My everest this year is organising an expedition for strangers. It makes me nervous which I see as a good sign 🙂

    • The Helpful Hiker The Helpful Hiker February 18, at 07:33

      Being nervous is good I think, it’s good to push ourselves. Glad you liked the post and good luck with your expedition!

  • Ashley Beolens Ashley Beolens February 10, at 13:28

    A very good point, in many aspects of life we are only really competing with oursevles, if you walk more today than yesterday you are winning 🙂

    • The Helpful Hiker The Helpful Hiker February 18, at 07:32

      Very true, I keep reminding myself of that everyday. I’m following your walking challenge this year and enjoying it very much!

  • Meg Meg February 10, at 16:41

    I’d love to climb Mt Rainier. Currently I’m training and getting educated on mountaineering! It’s been a BLAST! I’m sure the journey will, as always, be much more fun than the destination. Like your walk! I think that will be a real challenge and all of the work spent getting there will be just as – if not more rewarding than completing it! I can’t wait to read about it!

    • The Helpful Hiker The Helpful Hiker February 18, at 07:31

      That’s so true, the journey is important. Hope you get to climb Mt Rainier one day!

  • Helena Helena February 10, at 20:36

    This is a fantastic inspirational post.

  • Hannah Hannah March 01, at 17:38

    You should try Trail’s Everest Anywhere challenge this year 🙂 I think you’d enjoy it by the sounds of it! And good luck with your walk!

  • lizzierunning lizzierunning March 02, at 11:33

    Love this post. Good luck with your 50 mile walk – will look forward to reading about it!


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