This year I have aims which involve getting my body ready. With the amount I need to do, I not only have to take into account my palsy but how much I enjoy it as well. I’m actually body conscious more than anyone would realise so I prefer to find a gym that has a minimal amount of mirrors.
Going to the gym offers me away to train for marathons without the impact on my joints or the risk of losing my balance. I have a regular weights routine but I also set myself challenges big or small. Hence I have set myself the challenge of doing 30 half marathons on the concept 2 rower this year.
I do try and get outside to train as well. There’s a certain amount I can manage on my feet without causing damage and I like to pick routes I can enjoy.
One of my favourite outdoors places in the world is on the edge of Dorchester, it’s called Maiden Castle. It’s close to my old house in Dorchester and a decent walk out of town. My mum used to say she could see me sat on the side of Maiden Castle from the house.
I recently set off to take on this route again. My objective was to walk from the town centre of Dorchester to Maiden Castle, journey a bit round the top and then head back to the centre of town. This trek would cover nearly 10 km. A light pace and an exchange of city air for clean country air.
It is a fairly simply route – you only have to find Maiden Castle road, a long straight road from which you can see Maiden Castle ahead of you. For me, it’s a walk and a place with great mental health benefits. It has always been a place of great mindfulness for me. Whether it be escaping from teenage troubles or family bereavement.
It is also a place with plenty of history around it – if you want to learn more about Maiden Castle the county museum has a new display. From the Western gate you get one of the best views of Dorset and Dorchester. There are views from every side of the hill fort.
By the time I had finished my route, my head was clear and I’d covered a good few kilometres – about fifteen actually! I headed back to the train station to return to Southampton with a clear, happy mind.