This time next week I’ll, hopefully, be closing in on the finishing line of my Yorkshire 6 Peaks Challenge – a mad charity walk on behalf of the British Heart Foundation
So last year, in May, I did a walking challenge with my kids – it was ‘Walk a Day in May… with the kids. This year it’s a slightly easier challenge, I’ve just got to walk a marathon with the kids instead – just over 26 miles. Well, when I say it’s easier I’ve still got the extra challenge of only been home Friday to Sunday, so it’s really going to be a weekend challenge.
Hopefully some of you will join me in this?
It’s been a funny old year. Lots of change. Lots of challenge.
I’ve started a blog. Not many people read it, but ‘hey!’, that’s ok.
I’ve lost a job and found a job.
I’ve moved to another city to live a surreal ‘other’ life for part of the week.
I’ve made a tonne of new friends, in my new job, in my consultancy work and through Freshwalks.com.
I walked a ‘Mile A Day in May’ with my awesome kids.
I’ve spent a lot of time on my own. A lot of time thinking. Being on your own for part of the week does that. And so does walking. Even if you’re walking with someone else, you spend a lot of time in your own head.
I’ve had some upward battles, physically on walks and mentally too. I’ve won the former (most of the time) and am winning the latter (most of the time!).
I’ve got friends facing similar challenges and hope they can pull through too.
I’ve fought grief – overpowering, suffocating grief and watched my family battle it too. I think we’re finally getting to the other side of it. I hope so.
I’ve found the discipline to shoe-horn more balance into my life and I’m feeling better, more energised as a result.
I’ve camped under the stars, walked (well tried to) in storm after storm, climbed the UK’s biggest mountain in white-out conditions, feeling like you are the only person on the planet. I’ve swam in a mountain lake, watched a herd of deer in one of the most remote parts of the UK, seen some magical WILFs and waged war against evil midge-mother-f*ckers!
… And I’ve stood on the shoulders of giants – big rocky, snowy, pointy giants – in sun, in rain, in wind, and in snow. And it’s let me see further, uncover truth and find possibility.
Wishing you all an Awesome Christmas and a Happy New Year.
I’ll see you all on the other side, for more of the same, in 2017.
The Walking Dad. December 2016.
So when, as a reasonable and conscientious parent, I got wind of Pokemon Go it was on the back of one of the usual sensationalised stories from the middle-class media that I sometimes end up reading and listening to. ‘No chance, my lads are getting that game’, I said to myself.
Thankfully I changed my mind and opened myself to a whole lot more engagement and time spent with my two boys.
An interview with Jack Strange by The Walking Dad
WD: Jack, you’re famous for being an author, but not many people know you’re very keen on walking.
As National Walking Month comes to an end I’ve stumbled across the line with just a few hours to go in my challenge to walk an average of a mile a day with my kids.
Thankfully I front-ended the challenge as I struggled towards the end of the month as competing priorities stole some of my time. Plus Barnsley FC’s successful play off challenge got in the way too.
Here’s how it happened:
# Miles 1-4: Quick couple of circuits around Pugney’s Country Park with Alex and Chris. 27m to go.
# Miles 4-6: A quick walk around Shibden Park with Alex and Chris. 25m to go.
# Miles 6-7.5: A cheeky walk around the block after school with Alex and Chris. 23.5m to go.
# Miles 7.5-10: A walk to town and back with Alex. 21m to go.
# Miles 10-11: A walk around Greenhead Park with Alex. 20m to go.
# Miles 11-19: Wanderings around Whitby and to Saltwick Nab and back. 12m to go.
# Miles 19-21: A walk with Boo and Radley (and Alex, Debbie and Chris). Our new doggy-friends from BorrowADoggy.com. 10m to go.
# Miles 21-23: A walk in the park with Alex, plus our walk to and from the Barnsley game. 8m to go
# Miles 23-25: A walk with just Radley this time (and Alex, Debbie and Chris). 6m to go.
# Miles 25-28: A wander around Digley Res with Alex and Chris. 3m to go.
# Miles 28-30: Walking around Barnsley watching the Open Top Bus Tour celebrating Barnsley FC’s promotion to The Championship. 1m to go.
# Miles 30-31: A walk with Boo and Radley again (and Alex, Debbie and Chris. DONE
I’m now considering extending my challenge out to the rest of the year.
215 days. 215 miles to walk with these two fellas. Gotta be do-able!
So, 10 days in and I’m 19 miles into my 31 miles challenge for National Walking Month (May 2016).
That is – to ‘Walk A Mile A Day In May… with my Kids’.
Someone said to me at a party recently that I don’t always go walking with my kids, so am I truly always ‘The Walking Dad’.
It was a bit of a pedantic (slash drunk) comment, so he got a pedantic (slash drunkier) reply which was ‘well… I’m still a Dad, even when the kids aren’t with me – so ‘YES’, I’m 100% ‘The Walking Dad’.