I'm so excited about writing a blog about The Parish Walk 2009 event. It means so much to me and I think it will be beneficial because it will give me even more determination and passion to succeed and the memories afterwards. I love talking about the event (which my friends will know all to well) and I am so happy to be able to talk about it some more. I am really looking forward to sharing my experiences.
I have always been active and naturally good at sports, but as a child I never would have thought I would be into long distance walking because I grew up in Holland and I didn't think there were such events. (Although I later found out about The Nijmegen Marches -which is a four day long distance walking event, which I took part in 6 years ago.)
I have my parents to thank for my active life style. They have always encouraged me to try new things, especially sports related. I remember my mum taking up running when I was 8 and I started running with her. We did a running event every weekend for 3 years before we left and I did my first 10 mile race in the Dam Tot Dam (near Amsterdam) when I was 10 years old.
I remember everyone pointing and staring at me because I was a child running a long distance running race with adults and when I finished the race I was so proud of myself and I felt such a buzz that I wanted to do it again.
In 1998, my family moved to the Isle of Man and mum started taking part in the walking events because she was told it was popular and a way to meet others. Again, I copied mum by going on long walks with her.
In the first month Mum and I completed The Millenium Way (aged 11.) Officially I wasn't allowed to be in the walk because you had to be 18 years old, but mum didn't register me and as such it was her responsibility to make sure I was OK. After these events, I was known to the walking community as the Marathon girl.
Soon afterwards, mum started walking much longer distances such as the End 2 End and the Parish Walk and their was no way I would have been able to do it and I knew it.
I looked up to my mum then and admired her so much because I didn't ever think I would be able to do it but in the back of my mind I always said to my self that when I'm older I am going to complete the Parish Walk like my mum.
Mum has had such an influence on me, she has made me who I am today and it is because of her that I am attempting the full 85 mile distance this year.