‘It’s SUCH a re­ward­ing thing to do’

Country Walking Magazine (UK) - - The View -

16-year-old Em­mie Ri­ley from Sal­ford says she’s on a mis­sion to defy teenage stereo­types – and she’s got 600 miles to back her up. “My boyfriend’s mum Jo was talk­ing the chal­lenge – and see­ing the ob­vi­ous dif­fer­ence it had made to her re­ally in­spired me. I’d wanted to make progress with my fit­ness for a while but had strug­gled to be mo­ti­vated. Each week, I plan my walks and aim for around 10 miles for every one that I do. Some­times Jo and I plan walks to­gether and join each other on a big walk. It’s lovely to have the sup­port from her and to have a friendly face with me.

“Do­ing the chal­lenge has made such a dif­fer­ence to me! I’ve lost weight which has helped me gain con­fi­dence. I suf­fer from de­pres­sion and anx­i­ety, but do­ing the chal­lenge has helped me clear my mind and look at things from a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive. But the most im­por­tant dif­fer­ence in my opin­ion is I’m de­fy­ing typ­i­cal teenage stereo­types about walk­ing and achiev­ing. Walk­ing is of­ten seen by peo­ple my age as ‘bor­ing’ and ‘point­less’, but I’m prov­ing what a dif­fer­ence walk­ing can make to any­one’s life.

“I’ve cur­rently done over 600 miles and have set my­self a per­sonal tar­get to get over 100 miles in a week so I’m plan­ning lots of walks. I’ll def­i­nitely do the chal­lenge again and I’m hop­ing more teenagers will be in­spired to join in as it’s SUCH a re­ward­ing thing to do :)”

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