Walking has always been a thing for me. It is the only way to see a place and understand its soul at the same time, you can’t do that from a car. One of the things I love most about the UK is the ability to walk, freely and (with some healthy reasonable caution) safely. It is a right enjoyed so casually that it is slightly taken for granted: there are places where people live in their gated communities, go to gated office complexes, gated shopping malls and gated parks, in tin can cars, just for the illusion that they are free. Me, I love the open road on the soles of my hikers. It’s good cardio too.

For quite a few months I was completely immobile. Couldn’t walk outside my own little compound. Had to stay home to pack and work. Then had to quarantine. Once I got home, I felt like I was a beagle and the gate had been left open. In April, I walked 245,148 steps. That’s an average of 10,659 per day. It burned me 15,357 calories (about eight Backstreet Boys) – an average of 667.7 calories per day. I’ve walked 104.5 miles. And I enjoyed every second. Exploring neighborhoods, breathing fresh air, discovering hidden parks, or public art, or cool places. I will now – after years of denying myself the most basic pleasure of walking – indulge myself. I’ll report regularly, and I hope to beat my count.

Within the next two weeks, I’ll start weight training as well. The diet has improved tremendously too – no strict protocol, just fresher, better quality ingredients, smaller portions, greater variety and home made goodness. Plus… I can now report… hand on heart… that I haven’t had a cigarette in one month, four days. And I haven’t missed it. For this, I have the environment to thank (it’s amazing just how much you can achieve in an environment that doesn’t sabotage you every step along the way), and a little chemical help from Pfizer (it really works). But mostly, I think, I have walking to thank.

Any worthwhile journey, any worthwhile achievement, takes time. And I’m a work in progress. But, I’ll get there, on my own two feet. And I’ll keep everyone updated, every step of the way. Clear your headspace. Improve your health. See what it’s like to be alive again. Get out there and wag your tail. Start walking with me, why not, and let me know how it goes!