Here is a short article I published on LinkedIn recently... It sums up some of my favourite things about the walk :). i will try to publish more undates as we get closer to the event.
I still remember the first moment I thought of walking around Port Phillip Bay - the whole 210kms. I was nervous but loved the idea. I was doing my favorite activity and it was to raise awareness about mental health and support beyondblue by raising a few dollars. I was nervous because I loved this idea and its links to mindfulness and mental well-being but what if no one else understood? After all, there are many amazing people who do more extraordinary things than just walking right? But I went ahead anyway....What's the worst that could happen? I'd get some exercise and see Melbourne and it's surrounds at a leisurely pace. Any engagement or support I got would just be an amazing bonus and boy was it a life changing bonus! As the word got out, I was amazed at the encouragement and support from friends and strangers alike! It's difficult to package the experience into one piece but here some reasons why I am Walking Around the Bay for the third time this Christmas.
Selfless act - big payoffThis was what surprised and delighted me the most. I expected nothing back by taking this really long walk but I was amazed at the life lessons, friends and new connections that came out of it! Since starting the walk I feel that my success at work is more an outcome of keeping the bigger picture in mind than worrying about the return from every meeting/presentation/interaction I have.
It's great to be around positive people but it feels even better to create that energyWe think that this might be hard to do but I found that creating positive energy, especially in the context of mental illness, can be as simple as listening to understand and being open to new perspectives. The feeling of having a positive impact on another person is unbeatable and I can do this every day. Not just the days I Walk Around the Bay!
Finally and most importantly...
Go ahead, do that crazy thing you've been meaning to!If you're passionate about something then take a leap and just have a go. At worst you'll learn how to do it better the second time around. Doing this seemingly crazy thing and staying true to what I want to achieve has brought me the kind of people who I want to spend time with. It has brought me my "tribe"... and I love my tribe!
The first year, it was mostly just me walking. This year, about 20 people will join me on the walk. Half of them I've never met but so looking forward to meeting and having a chat with!
Each year, if the walk only cheers up one person, only gives one new perspective, only gets one person out for a walk who otherwise may not have, then it is still worth the 5 days of walking for me!
If you want to read more, follow my journey this year, get involved and join a leg (highly recommend this option!) or donate then check out www.walkaroundthebay.com or head to Walk Around the Bay on Facebook. I take care of all of my expenses so your donations go straight to beyondblue to support the amazing work they do.
Have a lovely festive season and maybe I'll see you on the road!