Like many others, every new year I make a resolution to lose weight, to get fit, and so on — and every year I fail.
This year, however, I have an extra incentive to help me on my way, writes the Advertiser’s Sharon Hodkin.
I have decided to pull on my walking boots and sign up for EPT1000, which challenges people to walk, run or cycle (or a combination of all three) 1,000 miles or kilometres in a calendar year to raise money for the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust.
It is a daunting task.
I am going to attempt to walk the majority of my 1,000 miles, although I may resort to cycling if I fall too far behind my target. Running, for me, is not an option.
I have also decided to only count the miles where I make a conscious effort to walk so moving around the office, home or garden will not count.
Although I am not a novice when it comes to walking — I am a member of The Ramblers and can regularly be seen on local routes — this is still a big commitment, but it is for a worthwhile cause and one close to my heart.
An ectopic pregnancy is where the embryo grows outside the womb and can be life-threatening. It affects one in 80 pregnancies.
Those affected need emergency treatment — often surgery — and the baby can never be saved.
Approximately five women die in the UK every year as a result of an ectopic pregnancy.
The Ectopic Pregnancy Trust is a small national charity that helps women who have suffered an ectopic pregnancy and their families. It raises awareness of the condition and also campaigns for improved care, diagnosis and prevention.
I was introduced to the charity through a friend who suffered an ectopic pregnancy and now work in my spare time on a voluntary basis as its press officer.
Through that role I hear many harrowing stories of women who have not only lost their baby, but have also undergone the ordeal of emergency medical treatment and suffered ongoing fertility issues.
The impact on other family members can also not be under-estimated.
Help support the fundraising effort
The trust has limited resources and relies on fundraising to help it maintain and improve its services, which include a telephone helpline and monitored internet forum.
It was after being asked to help prepare for the launch of the EPT1000 challenge that I was inspired to get involved.
I was looking for a challenge and I enjoy walking, so this seemed to fit the bill. How difficult could it be?
Then reality hit. A thousand miles means 83 miles a month, 19 miles a week or 2.7 miles a day.
Despite being a regular walker, this means I am really going to have to up my mileage and I have already, with the help of my husband, Keith, mapped out two circular five-mile routes from our home that we can easily do, whatever the weather.
The furthest I have walked in a day since leaving school was 13 miles when I did the Bacchus Half-marathon in Surrey in 2014, also for the Ectopic Pregnancy Trust, but I often walk seven or ten miles with The Ramblers, which should prove good preparation.
My challenge started on New Year’s Day with a walk through Sherwood Forest — a place I suspect I will be exploring a lot more of during the coming months.
Anyone inspired to join in attempting the 1,000-mile challenge can find out more at www.ectopic.org.uk
To help, visit my fundraising page.