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Meet the Walkers: Judith

We ask walkers who have taken part in the Step Count Challenge why they decided to take part and what walking means to them.

Published: 19/11/2020

In this Meet the Walkers blog post, Judith Sixsmith tells us how childhood walks around her neighbourhood with her mum and brothers shaped her lifelong love of walking.

As a child, my mum would say, “Put your coat on, we’re going out”. It could be daytime or early evening, but we, me and my brothers, knew this meant a walk around our city neighbourhood. 

These walks weren’t driven by empirical knowledge about the physical and mental health and wellbeing benefits of walking, or the health protective mechanisms of everyday small talk. For mum, they were driven by a need to escape the mundane world of chores, the smallness of home and to ‘taste’ the fresh air. 

For me, it was magical. Being together with my mum and brothers. Walking hand in hand. New streets, new sounds, new smells. Or indeed, enjoying the familiarity of Mrs Brunson’s fabulous garden.  

Well, that’s all in the past now, but I think my love of the outdoors, of walking and of hiking all stem from those early days. Today, I consider walking on the basis of individual, social and community benefits. Individually, walking helps me stay strong and fit, supports my immune system and keeps me mentally positive. The camaraderie of walking I find really lovely, with friends, family, as well as the short engagements with fellow walkers. Then, in terms of community, keeping the streets alive and the air a little less polluted. 

So whether its urban walking, out in the countryside or climbing hills and mountains I think every step counts. I won’t be giving up on it just yet, my dog wouldn’t allow it!