Next in my Midlife Matters series, I would like to introduce you to my friend, Chris Hallett. Chris has just completed the challenge of climbing the highest mountain in Scotland – Ben Nevis at Sizzling 68 years young!
Chris is also our first Member of the Month in my #couchpotatotofabfit Facebook group and deservedly so.
When Chris is not climbing a mountain, she is a woman who likes to keep busy by walking, gardening. Photography is her special hobby. She loves to read and listen to music. Chris works as a Volunteer Art Tour Guide at Hazelhurst Regional Art Gallery working with children, doing dementia guiding and the general guiding. Her favourite colour is pink.
I wanted to share Chris’ story with you as she is a great inspiration and shows what determination and working towards a goal can achieve.
“I would like to tell you a little of my absolute dream trip to Scotland. I have wanted to do this trip for a very long time and knew it would probably be the last big trip I would do, so I started my planning about eight months before I went.
I researched, made lists of everything I HAD to see, one for things I would LIKE to SEE see.
During this time I joined a charity project called My Peak Challenge, their aim was to improve fitness but mainly to raise money for Blood Cancer.
I chose my Peak Challenge to be climbing Ben Nevis, 4,410 feet, ten miles up and ten miles back, the highest mountain in the U.K.
As I have never climbed a mountain in my life I knew I need to go into training.
Being 68 and having a hip replacement, knee replacement and plated and screwed foot all in the one leg, this limited what I could do for training.
I decided to be sensible and do what I knew I could do which was walk. I used a program on my phone called Map My Walk and off I went.
I managed to do 2 kilometres which for somebody who didn’t do fitness to me was amazing. Everyday I walked finally reaching 10 kilometres a day. I also did stairs through the bush in my area where I live and this was a real shock for me.
Whilst I could walk 10 kms without any trouble, on the stairs I could hardly breathe and certainly not without many stops. I just continued to practice, not enjoying the stairs but knew I would have to overcome this.
Finally I set off on my wonderful trip and it was everything I hoped it would be. I had planned to do the mountain climb 22 days into my trip and was so excited. I started at 10.00am in the morning and finally got off the mountain at 8.40 pm.
It was far harder than I had imagined, going uphill and I had difficulty breathing. If I’m honest, I would say I contemplated quitting quite a few times but on I went until I finally reached the top.
I think it was the most amazing thing I have done.
It took five hours to get to the top and then the trek down. My knees were not liking climbing down. It is actually harder than going up but you have to get off the mountain. I ended up with no skin on the bottom of my big toe at all but can finally say I did it.