June 1st - 30th 2019

Transforming the next generation one step at a time

Welcome to Ray's walking diary

1,000,000 steps in 30 days

Running total

1,022,160 steps in 30 days

Can't wait for the 1st of June! Really looking forward to taking part in Amor Europe's Walk the World challenge. Not regretting setting myself the goal of 750,000 steps yet, though the thought of walking 25,000 steps a day, every day for a month is a little daunting.

Have already been thinking about how to structure my days to incorporate the extra walking time, though hven't gone much beyond the idea that I'll simply need to get up earlier for an extra long walk with the dog to start my day and getting to the gym for a quick treadmill session at the end of my working day. If I can keep to it I should be able to have a reasonably normal day around it.

Contemplating some longer walks on Saturdays, though no firm plans yet. I'll post on here any I intend to do so look out for one near you and feel free to join me!

May 15

Only 16 days till Walk the World officially starts, I've already bought and returned a step counter (it seems you do get what you pay for) and have been out most mornings with the dog. All I've got to do now is try to go three times as far every morning in June and add the daily gym session - aarghh!

It's been great having others registering over the last couple of weeks, we're up to about twenty of us at the moment, though still plenty of space and time for others to register before June 1st.

An event that I'm excited about is the Totton Family Fun Day, 1pm-5pm on Saturday June 8 at Testwood Rec where I've been given permission for a Walk the World stand where there will be two treadmills. I will be walking for the full four hours on one and the other will be available for anyone who wants to join in for as long or short a time as they like and donate their steps. There will also be information about the work that Amor Europe does around the world.

If you're in the Totton area that afternoon feel free to drop in and give me some encouragement. If the weather's good, there's likely to be somewhere in the region of 5,000 people there, with loads to do and everything is free!

May 29

Nearly there! As I start this entry the countdown is saying 2 Days,  6 Hours, 54 Minutes and 58 Seconds before Walk the World gets underway!

I must be nearly ready as the knee braces I ordered on Amazon arrived yesterday, tried them out on a two hour walk this morning (5:30am start) and they were fine - even if I did look a bit like the bionic man!

Have also been given an activity tracker to borrow for the month so that I can track my progress as accurately as possible, If I want to I can also track my resting heart rate, stairs climbed, calories burned and stress points gained - not sure I'll be publishing those.

 

Also worked out today that 750,000 steps is about 400 miles (640kms for those who didn't know who the bionic man was), which suddenly seems like a long way to walk.

Thinking my next entry will be on the 1st when I'll have actually started walking steps that count!

June 01

It's started! Walk the World is actually underway.

Really enjoyed today though, if I'm honest, my legs are a little sore! Started the day with an 11 mile walk then realised that was probably a mistake as I was due to play in my son's charity football match at lunchtime. Fortunately he took pity on me and only gave me 20 minutes game time.

Realised that after all that I was still short of what I wanted to achieve today so walked another couple of miles in the evening.

The reason I was short is that yesterday someone offered to sponsor me a pound a mile, up to a maximum of 500 miles. Immediately I Googled how many steps that was and found out that it was a few thousand short of 1,000,000! Unfortunately, that only made me certain that 1,000,000 was now to be my new target!

Pleased to report that a quick glance at the step counter at the top of the page will reveal that I'm slightly up on what I need to do. Unfortunately I've got to do the same again tomorrow and the next 29 tomorrows.

Heading to bed before getting up far too soon to start walking tomorrow's steps. By the way, my son's team won the charity footy match 3 - 2, a great day all round.

June 01

It's started! Walk the World is actually underway.

Really enjoyed today though, if I'm honest, my legs are a little sore! Started the day with an 11 mile walk then realised that was probably a mistake as I was due to play in my son's charity football match at lunchtime. Fortunately he took pity on me and only gave me 20 minutes game time.

Realised that after all that I was still short of what I wanted to achieve today so walked another couple of miles in the evening.

The reason I was short is that yesterday someone offered to sponsor me a pound a mile, up to a maximum of 500 miles. Immediately I Googled how many steps that was and found out that it was a few thousand short of 1,000,000! Unfortunately, that only made me certain that 1,000,000 was now to be my new target!

Pleased to report that a quick glance at the step counter at the top of the page will reveal that I'm slightly up on what I need to do. Unfortunately I've got to do the same again tomorrow and the next 29 tomorrows.

Heading to bed before getting up far too soon to start walking tomorrow's steps. By the way, my son's team won the charity footy match 3 - 2, a great day all round.

June 02

So hard to get out of bed this morning to walk, legs were sore, I was tired and really had to force myself out of bed and out the door. That said, once I started walking it was okay, the forest was quiet (not so surprising at 5:15am on a Sunday) and saw a group of deer almost as soon as I started.

Two hours this morning and another six miles along Bournemouth seafront this afternoon, coupled with walking to church and back has meant that I'm still on target for the 1,000,000 steps by the end of the month.

Legs are definitely feeling it, will be "interesting" to see how it feels when the alarm goes off in a few hours time.

June 03

Definitely tough getting up early for the walk and the knees and ankles are making me feel every second of my age but, once I get going, I'm really enjoying the walking.

This morning was three hours with a thirty minute trip to the treadmill in the gym at lunchtime.

Also noticed that I'm doing lots of "little bits" of walking whenever I can during the day.

June 03

Definitely tough getting up early for the walk and the knees and ankles are making me feel every second of my age but, once I get going, I'm really enjoying the walking.

This morning was three hours with a thirty minute trip to the treadmill in the gym at lunchtime.

Also noticed that I'm doing lots of "little bits" of walking whenever I can during the day.

June 04

Not sure if the early starts are getting any easier but once up it doesn't feel too bad. Had to split my day into four sections to get my steps done for today. Two and a quarter hours before breakfast, forty five minutes on the treadmill at lunchtime, a walk to church early evening and a walk with my wife and the dog later.

Really encouraged by everyone's efforts so far, really encouraged to have comfortably passed the 1,000,000 steps nationally with only half of day four's totals in!

June 05

First 40,000 step day of the month!

Three hour walk before breakfast was hard work but set me up well for the day. Usual 40 minutes in the gym at lunchtime, but the real bonus was having time to get an extra trip to the gym this evening (just before it closed) followed by a quick walk around the block with Sally and the dog to sneak over the 40,000 mark.

Bizarrely, my legs don't feel quite as sore today as they have done the rest of the week.

June 06

Good day walking today and also managed a lunchtime turn on the treadmill at the gym and circuits this evening. On the down side my body is starting to show serious signs of wear and tear. The knees have been joined by sore ankles and I've developed blisters on four toes and the ball of my left foot.

On the positive side someone has donated an electric treadmill for the FunDay on Saturday so I'll have that one and a manual one for people to use in addition to other step challenges. Really hoping for some serious bonus steps towards our grand total which should pass 2,000,000 tomorrow.

June 07

The first week is finished! A really great job done by everyone who is walking, over 2,000,000 steps completed and money raised to support the work of Amor Europe - transforming the next generation around the world.

As I write this entry the total stands at 2,084,586 which equals approximately 1,100 miles, most of the way from the UK to Moldova. Last summer a team from the UK and young people from Moldova built a house for a family in extreme poverty - transforming their circumstances. It is supporting that type of work that Walk the World is all about and makes the blisters and the aches well worthwhile.

Really looking forward to the Totton Family Fun Day tomorrow and getting a boost to our steps total.

June 08

Week 2 started really well with the Fun Day being a lot of fun! Sadly the weather wasn't great, though we were fortunate for the fist three hours. Really heavy rain meant that the event finished about 30 minutes early but not before over 28,000 steps had been added to the grand total by people taking part in various stepping challenges.

I stayed on the treadmill for the full three and a half hours which, when added to an hour in the gym in the morning, setting up and setting down from Fun Day and a few extra steps at the end of the day managed to lift my day's total to 50,147 steps. Thanks to all those who took part and contributed steps, as well as some great volunteers who helped me run the stand. In fact they did all the work as I was stuck on a treadmill all afternoon!

In my head I'm thinking that tomorrow will be a lighter day, but you just never know.

June 09

Woke up this morning with the discovery of a number of new blisters keeping the existing ones company.

Decided that it might be sensible not to overdo things today so simply kept to my daily target with 34,000 steps. Although it was a gentler day my walks included one with my granddaughter in her pram and a beautiful evening walk through the Wiltshire countryside with my wife and a wonderful friend. So today was definitely quality not quantity.

Again hugely encouraged by the number of steps being contributed nationally, we'll be very close to 3,000,000 steps completed once I get the rest of the totals for day 9 in!

June 10

The 3,000,000 steps has now been passed, which is a great effort from everyone involved! Representing a little over 1,500 miles it takes us comfortably past Moldova where, in conjunction with our partners there we had the privilege of building a house for a family last year. Hopefully by the end of the month we can have "theoretically" reached some of our partners further afield.

The weather in Southampton was pretty unpleasant today so the vast majority of my steps needed to be done on a treadmill and, with the forecast not looking great, I think that might be the pattern for the next couple of days. A bit boring but I did manage to hit my daily target.

The blisters are particularly sore today so think I need to find something for them tomorrow, have been recommended a product called 'Moleskin' just need to track down where I can get.

June 11

Blisters plastered up I was ready for another day of filling any spare minute with steps! Weather meant that, once again, the majority of my steps today were on a treadmill however, having been given a treadmill for the Fun Day and nowhere to put it, it is now in our kitchen which has actually been really handy.

Can't hear the telly over the sound of the belt (unless turned up unsociably high) but it does mean a quick five minutes is really easy and an extra half hour at the end of the day pushed my total comfortably over 40,000 today.

Another bonus was that I managed to track down an online supplier of 'Moleskin' so hopefully relief will soon be on its way!

Also posted a video on the Walk the World page of me on above mentioned treadmill at the Totton Fun Day on Saturday.

June 12

Days are settling into a pretty standard pattern, up at 4:30am, walking by 5am, either on the treadmill or out in the forest. Home about 8:15am and soak in the bath (hot not cold), then breakfast and work. A lunchtime blast on the treadmill followed by afternoons work then any opportunity for a few steps in the evening.

It's becoming quite familiar and even the 4:30am alarm feels okay most mornings. The day is always finished with the logging of the evening totals (just under half the walkers message me at night with the rest messaging in the morning). Then I update the website and write this diary post before heading to bed - for it all to start again in five and a half hours time.

Just updated the grand total and we've passed the 4,000,000 steps mark now - great job by everyone involved!

June 13

I always do my diary entry as the last thing I do before going to bed which means that I've only received a few of the other walkers totals for today - that said we are definitely going to have passed the 4,500,000 steps once the rest of day 13's totals are in - well over 2,000 miles which is a tremendous effort.

Early (fish) morning video calls overseas and other commitments meant that, inspire of doing circuits tonight I had to do an extra 30 minute walk at the end of the day to get to my total for today. I'm enjoying it (at least I keep telling myself that I am) but it's definitely a serious challenge and anything that gets in the way of the routine puts real pressure on getting the minimum 33,500 steps that I need each day to keep up with my target.

It is a really nice feeling though, when you get into bed at the end of the day. Which is exactly what I'm going to do now.

June 14

Apart from the blisters, am really happy with the first two weeks of the challenge. On a personal level I'm delighted to have got to 500,000 steps a day before the halfway mark and, although it's been tough, feel pretty confident of getting to the 1,000,000 target by the end of the month.

Much as I'm enjoying myself I'm even more encouraged by all the other walkers taking part. The daily totals have been brilliant and people seem to be enjoying taking part.

In addition to the nearly 5,000,000 steps that have been walked, over £1,000 has been raised so far with the promise of more to come. If you know someone who is Walking the World why not encourage them by going to their giving page or, if you'd rather, visit my page at https://www.give.net/RayWalk2019

Hoping the second half goes as well as the first half and praying that the blisters don't get infected!

June 15

Being a Saturday I had high hopes of getting a decent number of steps under my belt today, however the need to fix a gutter meant that my walking was split into three shorter walks meaning I just managed to get past my daily target.

It did also mean that I got to have a walk on my own, a walk with my wife and a walk with a really great friend so, a very enjoyable day.

Today is the official halfway stage, really pleased with the progress both personally and corporately and I'm really enjoying the challenge though I have to be honest and say that I'll be delighted once July 1st arrives - as will my feet!

June 16

Split today's walking into three stages. Started with a two hour walk first thing, followed by walking to church and ended with an afternoon walk along Bournemouth seafront from Southbourne to Hengistbury Head. The second and third stages were great this morning however was pretty wet and miserable, so not quite so much fun.

Really encouraged today by a couple more people wanting to donate their steps to the challenge, giving me great confidence that the final total should comfortably pass 11,000,000 which would mean a journey of approximately 5,700 miles, which would get us all the way to our partners in Sri Lanka!

Feeling incredibly tired so off for an earlyish night.

June 17

Not sure whether it's third week syndrome or what it was but when my alarm went at 4:30am this morning it was the hardest day yet to force myself out of bed and start walking.

The number of steps has definitely taken a bit of a toll on my body but I think the constant need to get the steps done and not fall behind the 33,500 steps a day is actually surprisingly mentally taxing! I'm definitely thinking how nice/strange it will be not to have to get three hours walking in before breakfast or, 'how can I get a few steps done on the treadmill' at lunchtime and, 'surely there's time for a quick thirty minutes walking before bed'.

Having said that, it's definitely time for bed and definitely no time for a thirty minute walk!

June 18

Didn't walk quite as many steps as yesterday but somehow felt much better this morning. The weather wasn't great so this morning's three hour walk had to be done on the treadmill. Nothing like as beautiful as in the forest but a little easier on my knees.

The rest of the day was filled with lots of little walks which all added up, in the end, to a pretty good day.

Am off for a day in the Lakes on Thursday, travelling tomorrow, walking and travelling home Thursday. Ironically, with all the driving involved I may not do quite as many steps as I usually do over the next two days!

Constantly encouraged by the support for our walkers both financially and verbally, really helps on days like yesterday.

With the journey tomorrow I'm pretty certain I won't get a diary entry in so will write two on Thursday.

June 18

Didn't walk quite as many steps as yesterday but somehow felt much better this morning. The weather wasn't great so this morning's three hour walk had to be done on the treadmill. Nothing like as beautiful as in the forest but a little easier on my knees.

The rest of the day was filled with lots of little walks which all added up, in the end, to a pretty good day.

Am off for a day in the Lakes on Thursday, travelling tomorrow, walking and travelling home Thursday. Ironically, with all the driving involved I may not do quite as many steps as I usually do over the next two days!

Constantly encouraged by the support for our walkers both financially and verbally, really helps on days like yesterday.

With the journey tomorrow I'm pretty certain I won't get a diary entry in so will write two on Thursday.

June 19-21

Strange writing up three days in one today.

Ironically, having spent a day in the Lakes with a great group of friends on Thursday I have actually posted my lowest three totals for Wednesday, Thursday, Friday! The problem has been the travelling, a lot of time in the car and not so much time walking.

Having said that, the scenery was quite remarkable, the views stunning and the weather was perfect. None of that managed to lessen the pain in my knees of the descent but it was a wonderful distraction.

We're just about to enter the final week of Walk the World, I must say I'm looking forward to enjoying days without the constant need to check my step counter to see how many I've got left to do, but I will mist. I'm hoping that my appetite will reduce in line with the steps otherwise my waistline will be in danger!

On a personal level I'm delighted to still be ahead of schedule for walking the 1,000,000 steps that I've set myself to do, though I realised that if I had stuck with my original target of 750,000 steps, I could now rest and put my feet up!

As a group of walkers we have now passed the 8,000,000 steps total (over 4,100 miles) which is an amazing achievement, very nearly the distance from here to our partners in India with a whole week to go!

There are a number of outstanding personal totals within that figure as well. Our oldest participant has already clocked up an amazing 500,000 steps on her own and one of our sixteen year old participants leads the way with an incredible 797,000 steps! The joys of retirement and finishing GCSE's respectively.

It is a great team performance and we have also been so encouraged by all those who have sponsored our efforts so far.

June 22

Back to a fairly normal day today, treadmill early morning, beautiful sunny walk through he forest this afternoon, a walk around the roads this evening and a few more steps on the treadmill to finish the day. Managed to hit my target today (first time in three days) so really pleased and looking forward to the rest of the final week.

It's a bit of a late night so cutting the diary entry short so that I can get some sleep before tomorrow mornings walk.

June 23

So, just about to start the final week of Walk the World. It has genuinely been a tougher challenge than I thought at the start and am so glad that I managed to get well ahead of schedule at the beginning. Today was a really tough day to fit the steps in and I'm feeling incredibly tired - had an hours sleep after lunch today!

Having said how tough it's been I'm also really pleased that, with only 170,000 steps to go it looks as though I'll hit my target of 1,000,000 steps. It has also been really encouraging to see how well our other walkers have done . Our combined total stands at just over 8,500,000 steps a massive 4,400 miles seeing us now past our partners in India! Really hoping to reach the Philippines by the end of the month.

Thank you too for all who have sponsored our walkers your donations really do make a difference.

June 24

A good day steps wise today, managing to pass my daily target without the need for a late night stroll around the block, though I did get dropped off half way back from town to walk home and help my steps.

Looking at my total and doing a bit of random Googling I've now managed to walk from Southampton to Glasgow and am still walking North!

My feet are nothing like as painful as they were and my knees don't seem to be getting any worse.

Heading to bed before another early start but very happy that there are only six early starts left.

June 25

It's been interesting as I think about this challenge as to how it has affected my thinking. Ordinarily my thought is 'how can I do this quickly' now it's 'how can I do this task whilst maximising the number of steps I'm taking'. There were two really good examples of this changed thinking today. 

This morning my wife went to work and found she had left her lunch at home. Ordinarily I would have got in the car driven the five minutes to her office and dropped it off. Today I was grateful of the opportunity for a bonus fifteen minute walk there and the same back.

After work we needed to get a few things at ASDA, instead of jumping in the car we walked and then happily took a two and a half mile detour home!

Not sure whether this will last after Sunday but it did contribute to a 40,000 plus steps day!

June 26

Today has been a much lower day than yesterday, was in meetings all day with travelling on top of that. Meant that I managed a couple of hours walking before breakfast and a short walk at the end of the day.

That said, it's nice to be able to see the finishing line and not too many steps needed to make my target.

Talking of targets, if you take a look at the Walk the World page you will see that we have passed the 10,000,000 steps mark today with a number of totals still to come in. A total distance of well over 5,000 miles with four days to go.

A fantastic effort by everyone involved in the challenge.

June 27

Managed a good total today but it was really hard work, I think my body is trying to tell me that it's had enough! Fortunately there's only 27,000 steps to go to make the million so I think I can ignore it for a little bit longer!

Today was a great day for Walk the World as it saw our first walker to pass the 1,000,000 steps mark. Check out the main Walk the World page to see a picture of Benji Ridout whose 44,378 steps today took his overall total to 1,000,083 steps, with another three days of walking still to go. It's a great achievement, he's done a fantastic job.

Looking forward, hopefully, to joining Benji in the exclusive million step club sometime tomorrow!

June 28

Only two walking days to go - it's funny how the mind works. I've finished the day just 2,00 steps short of my 1,000,000 target, which means, all being well, I will pass it tomorrow. Knowing that has made it so hard to really push myself to get the steps. My body feels exhausted and I can't wait to get to the point where I don't have to do any more steps.

It has been great to be part of the Walk the World challenge but I really can't wait fro it to be finished. 

Another huge thank you to those who have sponsored me and to all those who have encouraged me to reach my target.

June 29 & 30

The countdown clock has finally reached zero and the step counting can stop!

Was so pleased to reach my 1,000,000 steps target on Saturday morning. It was interesting to see where the millionth step would be taken, in the forest, in the park or on the treadmill? Those were the locations of by far the majority of my steps however, as it turned out it was touch and go between the local tip and Morrisons! in the end it was actually taken, as the picture (below) shows in Morrisons.

Having reached my target a day early it was lovely to have a relaxed walking day today, it's amazing how easy 13,000 steps feels when you've been averaging 34,00 a day for a month!

With very nearly all the steps in our total stands at an amazing 12,151,834 steps which is an approximate 6,300 miles or very close to the distance from Southampton to Manila (our furthest partner)! A brilliant job done by all our walkers.

Looking forward to a bit of rest and recovery for the legs and feet but delighted that the total raised so far is an amazing £3,000 with the promise of more to come. If you want to sponsor this challenge feel free to go to https://www.give.net/RayWalk2019 Every penny raised will go towards the work of Amor Europe, seeking to bring transformation with the next generation.

Thank you for reading this diary and for engaging with Walk the World 2019.

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