Today was the first training hike for my Peak District 6-Dales (PD6D) Physical Challenge, which I’m doing on 24th June (see previous post for further details).

All started well.  I’d printed off my route to the meeting point (no SatNav!) and set off up the M1 in plenty of time.  My destination was to be The New Inn pub at Walton, Wakefield.  Needless to say, the AA route finder let me down within the last couple of miles and I was left to my own instincts.  Eventually, after a  detour around Durkar, I arrived at The New Inn pub.

But it was shut.  And there were no sign of my fellow walkers anywhere.  I waited.  And waited.  Stupidly I’d not asked the group for a contact number… I only had an email address.  I sent a quick email saying “I’m here – where is everyone else”.  Silence.  After 20 mins I gave up and devised my own hiking route.

I boldly set off to Pugneys Country Park and parked up.  It was a gorgeous day – the sun was shining and the water in the lake rippled gently in the breeze.  I set off around the lake.  About 15 mins into the hike, I came to a sign saying “Footpath to Sandal Castle”.  Ever curious, I took it – feeling a bit like Alice in Wonderland, disappearing down a hole to who knows where!

1mud path to Sandal Castle P1010084The path turned out to be muddy… VERY muddy!  Anyone who’s been on a country hike with me (especially my brother Ian, cousin Jill and good friend Ana) will tell you of my fear and hatred of mud, and especially mud on an incline.  My great fear is that a) I’ll slip over and end up covered in mud, or b) I’ll get sucked into a mud hole and never be seen again!!

But, the ‘new’ me has learnt to embrace challenges.  So I continued up the path – albeit somewhat slower and more cautious.  My feet slipped all over the place.  I daren’t stand still for a second in case my feet got stuck in the slimy clay.  There was nothing to hold on to, and a very definite gradient challenging my bravery.

But I made it up to Sandal Castle – and was rewarded by a cracking view.  I was also 7 Sandal Castle stones P1010089pleased with myself that I’d pushed through something I was scared to do (especially on my own and without my walking poles to aid balance).

3 empty bench to lake P1010093Then came the slimy, slippery return trip through the mud, and this time going downhill.  How fell-runners cope with such terrain mystifies me!  But I got back down to the solid path around the lake without any problems.  Felt proud.

My smile widened as I came across a series of ‘activity’ stations placed around the edge of the lake.  Sadly there was no-one available to take the videos of me trying each one of the seven activities out!  😉

15 Pugneys Pull up bar P1010107 So you’ll never know how many chin-ups I managed to achieve… 9 Gd sit up beams P1010101

Or how many muddy sit-ups I did…





When I got back to the car, I sat and topped up my depleted Vitamin D levels in the still-glorious sunshine.  My phone ‘pinged’ with an incoming email.  Apparently there are TWO pubs called The New Inn within a mile of each other.  And yes, you’ve guessed it, I was at the wrong one!  Hey ho.  These things happen.  Maybe it’s time to get myself a SatNav and join the 21st Century??

16 me Vit D top up P1010108So, what have I learnt from my hike today?

1) I CAN cope with slimy, sticky, slippery mud

2) I’ve found out which muscles need further strength work – hip flexors; hamstrings; glutes; latissimus dorsi and trapezius – no surprises to me there!  Fortunately, as a Personal Trainer, that won’t be a problem!

3) Yorkshire walkers are VERY friendly – and happily gave me a helping hand up when I DID face-plant into the mud while taking my penultimate photo of the day!!!!!

Catch you next time.