I was sitting in the comfort of my nice warm house on Thursday evening thinking “it’s cold, it has been raining all day, and I really can’t be bothered to go out for a walk tonight”.  I was receiving Facebook messages and text messages to say that people were not coming along for one reason or another and my initial thoughts were “I don’t blame them!”.   But, I have club members now that are paying for a service, so a service I shall provide!

No-one will turn up… I hoped!

I was parked in the Heart of The Shires Car Park and it got to 6.10pm, I was all on my own.  Even Rachel had decided not to come along this evening and was at home tucked up under her warm duvet on the sofa.  The walk does not start until 6.30pm but there is always someone who turns up early, but not tonight.  I watched the clock tick over to 6.11pm and then I see a pair of headlights heading my way.  Yep, I will be walking tonight.  Time to put my smile on Julia!

I recognised the car as one of the founder members of the Walking Club (Julie), and sitting beside her was a new lady.  The new lady did not have any transport but was keen to come out walking.  Julie did not know this lady, but through Facebook, they had chatted about the walk and Julie agreed to collect her and take her to the walk.  How awesome is that?  Hearing this story instantly changed my grumpiness into pure delight, if people are prepared to do that for each other, just to attend an evening walk, then we must be doing something right!

We have created something special

17 people turned up to walk with us on Thursday evening and it was awesome.  We soon warmed up to the extent that I actually took my jacket off and wore a fleece only!  I love walking through Brockhall with the picture-perfect thatched cottages and the smell of open fires in the air.  After the downpour earlier in the day there was also the sweet aroma of the countryside that I am struggling to describe (but hopefully you know what I mean?).

Nigel instantly volunteered to be our tail walker for the evening, and Ian & Jo happily led the walk as they know the area extremely well.  That left me somewhere in the middle to simply chat with members and make sure everyone was happy.

There is something very peaceful about walking at night.  It is only cold if you are not wearing the right gear, and the scene of witnessing twenty people with their torches glowing (including the dogs’ collars!), creates something quite magical.

We walked four miles and I was back at home in time for Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here, feeling refreshed and invigorated.

I would have been so easy to put a note on Facebook or to email all the attendees saying “Tonight is cancelled due to poor weather conditions” – but I am so glad that I resisted that urge and ignored that naughty inner chimp!  (The Chimp Paradox is an excellent book by the way!).

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