Tomorrow at 9am is exactly 4 months and myself and Nicola will be starting out on our 134 mile trek from my fish counter in Stoke On Trent, to Flatfish Ltd in Grimsby.
I’ve written at least 2 blogs about the Fishermen’s Mission and why me and Nicola will be walking 134 miles and why the charity is extremely important to us both. This blog is all about the effort, training and fundraising efforts in the lead up to April 16th.
For a long time I’ve wanted to do a walk to fundraise for the charity, but anyone who knows me will know how much of a change it means for me to even attempt something like this. I’m not the slimmest person, but I can make changes when I focus and put my mind to it. Just a couple of years ago I managed to lose almost 5 stone in weight, with the goal of getting into a smaller sized jacket for the British Fish Craft Championships in Cleethorpes. So, I can do it when I focus! So, to put it bluntly, I knew I wouldn’t be able to complete 134 mile walk at my current weight. Ha, that’s what I call blunt! I love walking, so that was never the issue and I knew that my little “bestie” Nicola, also loves walking.
So, one morning at work, I asked my manager to sort out 2 weeks holiday in April, so from Monday 16th was booked. No way I was going back, nor Nicola! Just to make sure there was no going back, we announced the date and plans all over social media, tagging everyone possible into the posts. The just giving page was set up and started the ball rolling.
A lovely friend of mine, Jo Clark, set me on the path to much better healthy living, to get my weight down. And by April I will make sure that I cross the finish line, hand in hand with Nicola, proud of what we achieved.
I started to receive messages from a lovely gentleman Mr Steve Bloor. He explained he is a trustee member of the Fishermen’s Mission and he would help in any way he could. We had a meeting one Friday morning in McDonald’s and by the end of our coffee, I was so excited and fired up for the trek. Then I received a fantastic parcel from the Fishermen’s Mission, t-shirts, little Albert badges, leaflets and a brilliant fabric banner we will be able to carry with us. Another little parcel then came through the door, 2 wonderful blue hats to wear, from a follower of mine and Nicolas on Twitter.
I found myself really wanting to start training. My uncle and aunt, who live down in Swindon, were due to come up and visit on 10th December, and do our first walk. Just when the horrendous weather decided to descend and bring with it constant snow and ice. I wasn’t happy to say the least, but also really didn’t want my relatives driving in treacherous conditions. So, on that day, my close friends Deb and Matt, who are really like a brother and sister, decided we were walking their dog in the snow. It was good fun! Then with Christmas madness, and then New Years, we decided we were going to go and visit my uncle and aunt down in Swindon.
13th January, we travelled down, and had a good old catch up. Now, I’ll admit that I was a little nervous about this walk with my uncle. For no other reason other than my uncle David had spent 12 years in the army and done all sorts of tours, and he talked about doing half marathons and peak challenges, and here was going to be little me, with a full walking rucksack. 14th January, a slightly chilly but dry day and we set off. My uncle had meticulously set the route, and as we left, as my aunty Mandy chuckled and reminded my uncle “not to kill me!”, we set off.
Hand on heart it was one of the best things I’d done in a long time. Me and my uncle chatted all the way along, telling me army tales, giving me tips, and generally encouraging and motivating me along the slightly tougher parts of the route. All the while I was thinking about the goal of April, and how much I want myself and Nicola to achieve what we set out to do, and why we are doing it.
I can’t thank my family and friends enough for the help, advice and support, both here in Stoke, but also in Grimsby and everywhere in between.
Thank you to Mathew for going out of your way to plan the route for us.
Thank you to Dave for agreeing to being our support driver.
Thank you to Steve Bloy for the advice on the route to Grimsby and to my fishy friend Mr James Portus for so much advice in the at least 3 years I’ve known you.
Thank you to Steven and Richard for allowing the finishing line to be at Flatfish Ltd (and to Anton as always)
Last, but definitely not least, is my partner in crime in all things fishy, Nicola. I wouldn’t even be attempting this without you, and I know we will have the most amazing time, raising money for our charity.
Please feel free to check my pinned tweet on @girlyfishmonger which will take you to our just giving page.
Check out the Fishermen’s Mission on Twitter @thefishmish and http://www.fishermensmission.org.uk for more information
☆ if any fishermen or fishmongers would also like to sponsor us, even share our poster wherever you maybe, please let me know.☆