I still find it totally mad to be sipping coffee in the middle of London’s bustling jungle of buildings one day and then walking in the middle of nowhere the next. That’s one of the best things about commuting – you get to experience both worlds, even if it is a little odd at times.
Today, I went hiking in the Seven Sisters Country Park – a beautiful piece of land near Eastbourne in East Sussex. I’ve walked the entire thing before, but only once, a few years ago with friends. I’d visited again recently but had arrived too late in the day to get even halfway through the 19k trek before the sun went down. Cliffs and darkness – not a great mix. This time, I was determined to finish it.
Off I set, gloves on and earphones in. At first, it wasn’t entirely pleasant. For one, it was freezing – snow was coming from every angle and I needed every single one of the six layers I had on.
I’d also taken hiking boots, but they were failing to get grip on the chalk hills – and the last thing I wanted was to end up slipping over in the mud like so many other people I’d seen. But I kept on – I had a finish line to reach.
Eventually the sun broke through (miracle!) and the impressive sea-scape before me was unveiled. Previously hidden behind the clouds, it was stunning – and motivating too, especially when climbing up and down precariously steep hills.
Almost four hours later and with ten minutes to nightfall, I finished back at my car. Tired, yes. Sweaty, oh yes. But totally elated – because not had I finished the entire 19km walk, but I’d done so without ruining my jeans once in the process. Now that’s what I call a victory.