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Participating in Walk the Walk has shown me how far I have come!

Receiving my medal I felt so proud of myself and I realised that I had done it. I had beaten my fears of never being able to participate in anything active like this due to my condition and it truly opened my eyes to the amount of things I could now do.

Participating in Walk the Walk has shown me how far I have come in the past few years and how strong I can be. Hopefully I can inspire others to find out how strong they can be too.

Two and a half years ago, I was 4 stone heavier and I had recently started suffering with an unknown illness which caused severe pain within all my joints, extreme exhaustion, awful headaches and cognitive problems, I was later diagnosed with fibromyalgia. I couldn’t even have imagined taking part let alone completing a 26.2 mile walk. All this changed last year when I reached my weight loss of 4 & 1/2 stone and I was approached by friends to participate in The MoonWalk London 2014. I found myself accepting, which was a scary thought indeed! As we started training I found it incredibly hard going, but I always had a sense of achievement when we finished and I started to find myself getting stronger. I could walk for longer and my pace was getting quicker. Although I had my bad days, which made me miss training sessions, my team mates were always there to encourage me on and to help me get through it.

Finally the day of the walk was here and I was terrified. I was scared I would let everyone down by not being able to complete the walk but I also felt determined to give it a shot. The atmosphere in the tent before we began was incredible. I’ve never experienced anything like it. We all beamed at each other as we wondered through looking at the merchandise and collected our food. I was in awe of all the costumes and how much hard work some people had put into them. I was also impressed with how many people were brave enough to just wear their bras! Unfortunately, I didn’t feel that brave. When the time came to finally set off, the air was filled with electricity. I was so excited to finally get started!

As we passed each mile marker I couldn’t help but grin away. People on the streets were cheering us on and clapping. As I reached the halfway mark I felt very proud and celebrated with a piece of flapjack, to help keep my energy levels up. Also, because it was delicious. Soon after, all that walking was starting to take its toll on me. At around mile 19 I felt ready to give in, but my team mates and the Volunteers gave me such incredible support that I had to carry on, albeit a bit slower than I had wanted. Their help and encouragement inspired me so much to keep going, that and the promise of a hot chocolate!

Coming up to the Finish Line, limping and weary, I felt like a celebrity! Everyone was clapping and cheering us on and finally crossing that Finish Line was such a fantastic feeling. Receiving my medal I felt so proud of myself and I realised that I had done it. I had beaten my fears of never being able to participate in anything active like this due to my condition and it truly opened my eyes to the amount of things I could now do.

I have signed up for this year’s walk and me and my team mates have already begun to create our costumes! Let’s just say they are going to be super… Again, the fear of my condition holding me back is there, but I know that the support of my team mates, the other Walkers and the Volunteers will help me take one step after the other until I have crossed that line!

Erin

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