It’s amazing what the human body can endure when you set a goal, motivate yourself with a higher calling, and push forward with a group of like-minded people.
At least that’s what I learned when I jumped headfirst (completely untrained and honestly a little bit out of shape) into the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge this past summer.
An organized hiking effort in Yorkshire that covers 24 miles and more than 3000 feet of climbing, this isn’t exactly your everyday walk in the park or scroll down to the corner shop to buy some tea.
No, this is an effort for serious athletes and amateurs that want to push their body just as far as they can for a great cause. Everything sold and all of the proceeds for the event go directly towards the British Heart Foundation and the amazing work that they do all over the UK for children and adults dealing with heart health issues.
What have I gotten myself into?
That was the first question rushing through my brain after I hit the enter button and registered to attend the event in 2014. In hindsight I could have made it easier on myself by getting into shape before hand.
I had never hiked 24 miles before, had certainly never climbed 3000 feet previously, and didn’t even own a pair of hiking boots! In fact, the farthest that I’d ever “hike” was up to the top of the hill during a festival so that the girl I had just met and I could enjoy a little bit of time away from our group of friends on a blanket together.
Obviously, I needed to start off with the right gear
Jumping on Amazon, I combed all of the different reviews for hiking boots and other hiking supplies understanding that if my feet were going to be so important for this endeavour I had better get them the very best of the best.
I read maybe 100 or more different reviews before I even started to pay any attention to the products they were reviewing, just so that I could soak up the key criteria that I should focus on. Most people talked about fit, comfort, durability, and support – so that’s where I based my purchase off of.
Starting back at the first page of results, I went through each and every one of the top 30 different hiking boot options (what can I say, I’m dedicated), looking specifically for hiking boots that people fell in love with for fit, comfort, durability, and support.
I found a pair I was happy with (and a pair that wouldn’t cause my bank account to break wide open after I bought them), and then grabbed a couple of pairs of socks, some good shorts and athletic wear, and got ready for my voyage.
The actual event itself was amazing
First of all, if you’ve never undergone the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge, you’ll have a chance to do so in 2015 – and you need to do it!
Armed with a compass and map, you’ll be able to navigate rocky paths that wind through the countryside, boggy and swampy areas, and even straight up (or what felt like straight up) climbs like nothing else you’ve ever experienced.
Thanks to my new boots everything went off without a hitch, and while I (understandably, I think) quite sore still it’s an experience that I wouldn’t have traded for anything.
The fact that my registration fee (as well as everyone else’s) goes towards the British Heart Foundation is just icing on the cake!