Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Walk In Her Shoes

I've joined the challenge of walking 10,000 steps a day as part of Care International.

"Walk in solidarity with women and girls in the developing world who walk miles every day collecting water for their families.
These gruelling daily treks mean they often don’t have time to reach their full potential in life.
CARE is building wells, boreholes and standing taps close to their homes, allowing them more time to go to school or work.
This March, walk 10,000 steps a day in solidarity and raise money for women and girls in the poorest communities."

My Experience Day 1:
My first thoughts when I decided to take on this challenge was that it would be a doddle.  I run round after 2 young kids so of course I can do 10,000 steps a day, easy peesey.  How wrong could I be? 
I put my pedometer on at around 8am on Monday morning and felt rearing to go.  I was pumped up and ready to clock up some steps.  The first thing I needed to do was get the kids in the car and get them to nursery!  Driving along I was thinking, "not really the greatest start towards my target is it?"
I did however park further away from work and walked in.  The difficulty I have is that most days I'm chained to my desk and only tend to get up when I need a desperate cup of coffee for the purposes of keeping me going through the day.  I tried hard to make more of an effort to get up and get walking.  I took the stairs instead of the lift (and some of you may scoff at this small change in routine but I do work on the 10th floor so it's a bloody slog to get up 12 flights of stairs each time I want a cuppa).  I tried to get up and go and see people rather than just emailing them so this got me around the building.
It got to the end of my working day and I'd only done about half the target.  I was knackered and my legs hated me for using the stairs so much, but I still had 5,000 more steps to do. 
The evening went a bit better as running round after the kids really did help.  It also really helped that neither of them wanted to get in the bath so the battle that resulted led to more steps being used (and these were running not walking as I tried to pin the little buggers down)
At the end of the day I had just about done the 10,000 steps (I had to go a couple of steps on the spot just to take it over).  I felt such a sense of achievement and then remembered that I have to do this for another 6 days!!
Even after 1 day something quite powerful hit me (other than Mr Moo in the battle of the bath) and that was the extreme these young women and girls have to go through to simply get clean drinking water.  If I want a drink of water I only have to walk into the next room or shout for hubby to get it for me, but these young girls have to walk miles.  I say 'mile' and it doesn't sound that far.  I walk a mile and I soon realise how far it really is and it is much farther than it sounds.
Although I walked 10,000 steps all my steps had a different purpose, such as getting the kids ready, getting me to work, doing the shopping, meeting friends, looking after the family and so on.  The 10,000 steps these girls have to walk is just to get water!  It doesn't seem right does it?  Young girls are missing out on the opportunity of an education because they have to spend so much time trekking to get something that should be as easily accessible to them as it is to us.
For as much as I cursed the stairs and hated being THAT tired, I'm proud of what I'm doing.  I'm proud to be raising awareness of the poverty these girls live in so that we can all help and make a difference.  Care is working on building wells so these girls don't have to make this awful trek everyday and they can only do this with our help.
I'm not the only one Walking In Her Shoes.  There is a team of Parent Bloggers who are all taking the challenge of Walking In Her Shoes and you can support us here.
Day 1 down, 6 to go..........please show us your support or why not try the challenge yourself?  It's fun once your legs stop hating you!

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