I guess I’ve always been a chronicler of sorts – keeping a teenage diary, writing lengthy letters (in the good old days) and jotting down ideas for lofty literary projects; however my passion for the great outdoors meant I never quite managed to stay inside long enough to get the great novel written.
Oh, I published some short stories and even tried my hand at romantic writing, but while the feedback was positive, that first novel (a Mills and Boon set on a yacht) did not see the light of day. I, on the other hand, never missed an opportunity to get outside; if the weather was fine, there was always a reason to be out there enjoying the warmth of the sun on my skin. I didn’t care if I was hiking, sitting in a park, gardening or even cleaning windows if I meant I wasn’t cooped up inside.
I started blogging about six years ago. My partner Harri Garrod Roberts is a keen walker too and I’d find myself getting ideas for articles when we were out exploring. Harri was keen to write his own hiking guidebooks, but I was content to wax lyrically about the stunning landscapes we visited, relating something of the history of an area and sharing a few anecdotes about our day’s hiking.
And thus began The Walker’s Wife, a blog about walking and running (in my late 40s I’d unexpectedly caught the running bug). In those early days, I used a blogging platform simply because I wasn’t very technical and knew nothing about website hosting and Word Press themes.
Why The Walker’s Wife?
The name for my blog started as a joke. Harri was getting outdoor writing commissions and I would join him on the walks, preparing our packed lunches, taking the photographs and contributing with ideas and suggestions. We’re not married but I found myself in a support role; just like the wives of old who would support their minister or politician husband while staying out of the limelight. It wasn’t a natural fit – there was plenty I wanted to say.
I was not The Rector’s Wife (Joanna Trollope) or The Politician’s Wife (Channel 4) but The Walker’s Wife.
You’re never too old to backpack … or do anything for that matter
I went backpacking for the first time when I was 52, in preparation for a much-longer expedition through Wales a few weeks later during which I celebrated my 53 birthday.
I joined a running club when I was 50, ran my first marathon (London) aged 53 and set off to walk across the Algarve a week later. Aged 54, I backpacked along the Catalonia coastline and won my first Welsh medal for cross-country running (a team effort for which I can take little credit).
A few weeks ago, I was third overall in my age category in a series of local road races.
I hope there are many firsts (or thirds) yet to come because I honestly believe you’re never too old to set yourself a challenge and go out there and achieve your goal. You might not share my passion for outdoor activities, but I hope my website encourages you to get out there and pursue something you feel equally passionate about … and remember you’re only as old as you feel!