Hi everyone, I just want to share with you that today I did my first walk with the Rambles and it was a success! I walked 6 miles easily, without any pain or blisters, with a lovely group of people who were warm and welcoming. I could not have got to this point without the help of those of you who supported me over months when I was feeling so low. I might go back there at some point, but right now I just want to thank you all for helping me to feel so much better.


28 Replies

  • Sue! That's great news! What kind of walk was it? What place? Did you know any of the people, or were they all new faces? How often will you walk with them? Sory for the bombardment of questions, but I'm really interested! The lady who volunteers in my class does Rambles and she absolutely loves it! X

  • Hi Lucy

    Good to hear from you and thank you for replying - it's lovely to hear back from people I know :)

    It was with the Ramblers, the first time I had walked with them, and no I didn't know anybody when I started though now I feel like I have begun to get to know a whole lot of new friends! We walked from Ambleside to Grasmere, firstly along country paths and lanes, a bit along a road (on the kerb of course), then by the river and then climbed fairly high so we could see all the way over the lake and surrounding countryside - oh and in the middle of all that we had lunch by the lake. Someone took me under her wing and we chatted non-stop all the way, then I talked with at least a dozen people each for quite some time, lots of warmth and laughter, and then chatted all the way back. It was certainly a different kind of day from my usual!! The local branch of the Ramblers take two coachloads of members out every other Sunday, travel up to two hours in any direction and the walks vary in length with 4 possible groups - you can choose each time which group to walk with. People who do the A walk are incredibly fit and wiry, they do 15 miles most times (!), the B walk tends to be experienced walkers who are in good shape in terms of fitness and they do who do 10-12 miles, the C walk is for people who want to do something longer than the lower group but are not fit enough to do long distances, they do about 8 miles, and the D walk tends to be done by people who are either recovering from an injury, or becoming elderly, or just want to get out into the countryside, or are new and want to see what they can manage - like me! They do about 5-6 miles. Each of the groups climb progressively higher, so we only climbed about 7-800ft whereas the B group climbed 1800ft and the A group do the highest peaks. I will stay with the D walks for a few months and maybe in September of early October try a C walk but probably drop back to D through the winter when the conditions make walking harder, but it all depends how fit I become. I am really surprised that I managed the 6 mile D walk so easily! I do have pretty good cardio-vascular fitness and the potential to be very fit - I must have inherited good stamina as I have never been at all sporty and have spent my life listening to music, reading, playing the piano, and art, with a few bursts here and there of activity. People in the branch of the Ramblers I joined tend to have lived in the same area all their lives, so are very well adjusted despite sometimes having had difficult lives, they have a good sense of belonging and identity, and have kept friends all their lives, and I feel very lucky to have found that group as I understand walking groups in some areas are more difficult to integrate into, whereas the local group embrace new members and are open and warm. It was so lovely! I feel as if I have found a social family who want me to belong, and I easily felt part of the group. I still feel amazed, as you can probably hear :)

    If you have ever walked a mile or two and fancy getting out into the countryside every couple of weeks then do find out about the local branch. I went to the gym a few times to get my body working, but only 3-4 times, then did a local healthy walking group walk of 4 miles - which was faster than I imagined I could do, but I coped and that gave me the courage to think I would probably manage 5 miles which is what the Ramblers advertise the D walks as. When I heard it was 6 miles I gulped, thought I would probably manage but imagined really aching afterwards, but today absolutely nothing! The pace on the D walks is lovely, gentle regular walking with lots of stops for loos breaks, a drink, and then a half hour lunch break. In our local branch (Halton) we arrive at the walking area at 10am, walk from 10.30 and have until 6pm when the coaches leave to complete the 6 miles - and they will always go at the pace of the slowest, the leader will lead at a slightly faster pace than that but then the group wait and those that are slower catch up along with the back marker who makes sure everyone is ok. If you have a blister or feel tired, they wait for you. If you need to wee you just tell the back marker, go behind some bushes, and they wait. In fact it is a bit like having a supportive network of personal trainers because they are all full of helpful tips and advice, and very understanding because they have all been through difficulties or had to start somewhere. I imagined they would all be experienced walkers with whom I had to keep up, but actually it is the other way round and I now feel they will wait for me and look after me if I need them to. It is a lovely experienced, very warm and nurturing - at least that has been my experience. I wouldn't go without doing a few mile walk first to see what that feels like, also to wear in walking boots and make sure they are comfortable. You can try the Ramblers by joining 3 walks before paying the annual membership, which is anyway very reasonable. People vary in age from late 30s up to 92! Most are 45-70 with a few older who have walked for years and are pretty fit. The lady who took me under her wing is 68, had a mastectomy, has arthritis and other health problems, but is resilient and a great character, and a few in their 40s were warm and a good laugh, I have not smiled and laughed so much for a long time. They do want you to wear the right clothes because it's dangerous not to, so there is some outlay at first, but other than that the membership fee is small - I think it was about £30 a year (?) and it costs me £10 for the coach each time I go on a walk, oh and in our local group they always go to the pub before boarding the coach home. All in all it's a lovely and healthy way to spend the day, and they also do shorter midday walks - you have to make your own way to those and they are nearer home, and some branches have social evenings as well. It really is great!

    Enough of me going on, how are you? How are things with your family and work?


  • Sue that was fantastic, you should be very proud of yourself right now.

    None of us know when we will go back down but let's enjoy the moment.

    There will be no stopping you now Sue.

    Hannah x

  • Hi Hannah

    Yes, thanks, unusually for me I am feeling pleased with myself as I know it took courage to do but I feel as if I have turned my life around.


  • Hi sue

    Well done you should be proud of yourself. I love getting out in the countryside :-)

    Jules x

  • Thanks Jules, yes isn't it lovely, I had forgotten how good it feels to be making my body work, feeling the air and looking across fabulous views. I have just ordered a pair of gaiters so I clearly intend to continue :)


  • Fab news Sue and well done! Gemma XX

  • Thanks Gemma. xx

  • Aw am so pleased Sue. Bet you feel really good about yourself now. Hopefully you will make some lovely new friends. Hugs xxxx

  • Thanks, that's lovely of you. Hope you are well. xx

  • Well done :)

    I'm pleased you had such a good time :)

  • Thank you.x

  • Sue,

    As Hannah said you should be very proud of yourself. I'm very proud of you! Really pleased you managed the 6 miles walk and that the group were friendly. Bet you are off swimming today as well!

    Very happy for you,


  • Thanks Sarah. Not swimming today, but maybe tomorrow if I can have the car, if not then I'll go to the local gym and have a walk there to keep fit. How are you?

    Sue x

  • Okay weekend but a bit blue today and tearful. Need to get out and walk the dog. Just do it.

    Anyway I'm really pleased you are focusing on the new groups and the exercise, it seems to be helping you.

    Sarah x

  • I am really pleased for you. Xxx

  • Thank you. Are you new? x

  • Yes fairly. Been on a few months but only just started responding to posts. Xx

  • Hi Sue,

    How are you?

    Oh that's a fantastic achievement for you and well done

    I used to do hillwalking in the Lake District & I absolutely loved it

    It shows us what we can achieve when we go out of our comfort zone and the empowerment and confidence it can give us

    Well done

  • Thanks Binky, it's kind of you to reply and yes, aren't the Lakes beautiful! :)

  • Hi Sue

    Well done with walk yesterday. Hope you are having a lazy day today.

    Im watching the tennis. Dont have any energy.

    David x

  • Hi David

    Yes, I've been a bit like that, lacking energy apart from when I was walking with the other people so perhaps it is all psychological? You've had a lot to adjust to so be kind to yourself. Sue x

  • YOU YOU Its is YOU I have to thank! I have been so inspired by your posts that I went on a long walk yesterday and tonight when I came home from Central London I stopped one tube stop too early and walked the rest of the way home! I am determined to walk everyday this week...somewhere, may not be far but baby steps right. I havent found a walking group yet but I shall keep going.

    ALL THANKS TO YOU! My inspiration.


  • Hey, well done! There are a lot of walking groups in London I know. I envy you living there as I lived there from 15-27 and it was where I felt I belonged :)

    Thanks for your thanks. xxx

  • Well you say that but dont seem to be any in my area during week days, didnt get to walk today and Mums back tomorrow but I will keep trying!

    So where are you now? Sounds nice all those country walks.


  • Hi

    In St Helens, halfway between Liverpool and Manchester which is a superb location for access to all the main hilly walking areas in the UK, we are so lucky in that respect.


  • You're not that far from the Dales and the Peak District used to go walking there as a kid with my friend. Egg sandwiches, welly boots a gagool and we'd still come home soaked through! Just like Bronte land only better.

    Funny Ive been in London since before the war, the first one...ha ha but lately I got a bit home sick, Im from Cheshire. The cobbled lanes, old cottages, endless rain, mud, dairy, freezing bloody cold, can you believe it.

    Do you know about the Giant Girl, she came back to Liverpool this year, I begged the BF to let me go, it meant sooo much to me, but since we found out last minute and it meant so much driving he said no, why did I even let that happen! Grrr anyway look her up on youtube incase one day she comes back.

    Lucky you being up there it must be truly beautiful if a bit wet :-)


  • I've just realised that this is a post I wrote on several months ago, so I thought I would update you all. I am still doing Ramblers walks, but now I go out every Sunday. I can't believe what I wrote when I first began because now it seems harder though I do always cope. The terrain we walk on is so different each time, we've been all over - to the Lake District, Peak District, North Wales, North Yorkshire, and this Sunday not far away in Lancashire. Sometimes we walk over fields, sometimes along well made up tracks, some times by rivers, other times up fairly high tracks and over the tops of low mountain ranges. It is always exhausting and feels a bit like an ordeal I go through and yet I really enjoy some of it - I think I haven't really adjusted yet to the idea of myself as someone who goes walking in the hills though I always wanted to be someone who does! I don't really ache much afterwards and suppose I must be getting fitter though there aren't really many signs of that, just fitting into a smaller trouser size without any weight loss which I presume means I am building muscles. I'm not really depressed any more and yet aware that I could so easily become so, that nothing has changed emotionally except the way I am coping - which I guess is a major change. I'm still trying to lose weight and will be joining a weight loss group in a couple of weeks. Apart from walking and weight loss everything else is pretty much the same as it was.

    I often look on the site and feel connected to it despite not recognising many of the names of the people who write on it many days. It all feels a bit strange...

    Love to those who know me, and to those who don't I hope you all begin to find ways of coping that enable you to feel less depressed.


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