24 hour Mind hike, 16.9.17-17.9.17

Walking boots on.

On Friday 15th September, I travelled to the Lake District for the Mind Hike 2017 charity  fundraising event for the briefing.

When it came to the briefing, I cried… a lot! Tears of happiness. Team Falcon were doing the hike for best friends, brothers, sons, husbands, fathers and cousins who have committed suicide. Sharing my story to 20 other people who have been directly affected by mental health, was a cathartic moment. People out there care, speaking about mental health to empathetic people opened my eyes to the possibilities in changing the attitudes towards mental health.

We had all metaphorically overcome mountains in our lives. Using each other’s strength, it was time to literally overcome mountains.

Morale was high, and Team Falcon had a team comedian- Elanor!

Hike highlights included many livestock encounters too, which made the experience even more exciting.

The steep mountain ridges and stony terrain made the ascent of Fairfield more challenging. It was a huge achievement for the whole team to reach the top, it was down to teamwork and resilience. Thanks to Mind for saving my ears from the cold with the wonderfully warm hats!

During the hike, my nickname was the Duracell bunny because of my endless energy and positivity. My competitiveness drove me to run to the top of the summit.

The views were spectacular:

Descent sounded less vigorous that ascent. I stood corrected as we scrambled down rocks, and walking down countless steps.

We made it back to our hostel for dinner, to give us energy for the second half of our 24 hour challenge.

Head torches on.

The evening portion of the hike was certainly fun as Charity Challenge kindly set up an evening snack stop… glow sticks and neon face paint too.
Stars in the sky made the evening section of the hike even more spectacular, whilst gazing into the darkness I saw a shooting star and definitely squealed with excitement. After hiking for 18 hours, you become a little delusional.

Walking through fields of cattle, with our head torches lighting the way, was very amusing. They definitely looked like forces not to be reckoned with as their eyes glowed.

At 4am in the morning, the teams gathered at a pub where we could kick our boots off, and relax whilst watching jungle book. It definitely looked like a group game of ‘the floor is lava’, putting pressure on our feet was so painful that we hobbled. It was not long until we had to set back off, in order to reach the youth hostel for 8am and hit our goal.

The sunrise gave Team Falcon a new lease of life. It signified that the end was near, well timed with my headtorch batteries running out.

As Simon and I saw the finishing line, we decided to run across together- we could not wait to finish! However, I dread to see those photographs.
The mind team leaders were cheering us on, with prosecco and orange juice waiting for us.
I found a dog to cuddle too :).

The Mind Hike was an incredible experience, as I met so many inspirational people who had overcome significant difficulties. Using our combined strength, we successfully completed the challenge but also made friends for life.

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