When a friend asks you to do something out of your comfort zone, which will push your body to the limit, keep you away from your family for a week, mean camping out in the cold/wet, force you to learn multiple new skills and purchase equipment you’ve never heard of, however close a friend your normal answer would probably be no. But that wasn’t the answer when I asked the incredulous amateurs to join me on the challenge of a lifetime. Born out of the idea to do something inspirational for my children and to have a lifelong achievement it’s grown from an idea to an event with 5 other amateurs all with their own personal stories and there’s another element to this, raising money for charity. Having started off as something smaller, the word inspirational kept coming up and there’s nothing more inspiring than crossing a country from one side to the other. Preparing to hike, camp, cook and share 6 days of hard slogs over 84 miles along the historic Hadrian’s Wall from Coast to Coast, we the Incredulous Amateurs (as we’re known) are also hoping to raise over £5,000 for their own individual charities. Now this isn’t a walk in the park, just imagine 6 days with between 12 and 18 mile stints each day carrying everything you need to survive. Clothes, water, camping & cooking equipment etc… The list is endless, expensive and heavy. This is the commitment we’ve made and each member of the Incredulous Amateurs has their own story. I can’t believe the response from some of my friends to get behind this. We are literally creating life long memories. I’m walking on behalf of my twin brother who has cerebral palsy, we’ve had significant family support from Scope and Mencap. This is an opportunity to push myself to get fit both physically and mentally, inspire my children to do something amazing and thank those charities who made life that little bit easier for my Brother. The fact that it encouraged others to feel passionate about something so challenging means it’s achieved what I wanted already. To be inspiring. With a sister who’s an assistant manager for Mencap, Adam Jones 32 from Harrow understands the day to day struggles the staff face and the challenges to support those who need it most. Adam’s also walking on behalf of ADHD&AUTISM support Eastcote who have provided their family with support and guidance for both of his sons. “The ability to find myself again after many years of fighting my own demons, a chance for me to prove myself in my own eyes as well as showing my children anything is possible if you put your mind to it is worth all of the pain, hardship and bad jokes”. Barry Freeman, 44, from Wigan is walking in memory of his mum, Chris Freeman who lost her fight with cancer last year. Barry is raising funds for Macmillan Cancer Support and Cancer Research UK. ‘Macmillan supported my mum with her terminal cancer so I want to give something back in her memory as a thank you. I also want to support Cancer Research UK in the hope that in our lifetime we can stop this despicable disease from taking lives! It will be very tough as I’m unfit and will be carrying all my kit for the week but will be worth every minute!’ “We’ve known each other for a few years but it’s the first time we’ve done anything like this together,” said Syd Cottle, 46 also from Wigan, who is raising money for Bowel & Cancer Research. “We were all up for the challenge. We want to be an inspiration to our kids, as well as getting fit, losing weight and raising money for charity.” Working with me for only a year prior, Josh Hadfield 25 from Manchester didn’t hesitate to join in and commit the time to train and off work. Raising money for the Spinal Injuries Association who helped his family a lot in their time of need, provides that platform to say thank you and allow them to continue their valuable hardwork. “This Trek means a lot. It’s out of my comfort zone, it’s tough, there will be times we will just want to stop but we can’t and we will crack on! I think doing it as a team, all of a similar fitness and determination means the camaraderie will be amazing and will pull us through” The latest addition to the team Joe Pridgeon, 24, has only a few months to prepare but having run a number of 10k events, feels confident. Walking for a charity so close to his and his families heart, Kirkless Hospice, means that when the going is tough there’s motivation to keep the legs moving come rain or shine. “I have always been a fan of challenging myself to see what I am capable of, both mentally and physically. I have embarked on tough challenges before, but nothing that would take me so far, or take me this long. This will give me the opportunity to raise awareness for some fantastic causes, challenge myself, and maybe even have a good time whilst doing it. It was an easy decision to make when asked if I wanted to take part.” They say that friendship is stronger than most things, this test is going to push our friendship to the limit but with determination and support, we’ll be able to push the boundaries on what’s possible. We’ve been blogging about the event here at www.Amateurish.co.uk which also provides a free platform for any other adventurous amateurs to go on an share their own experiences on.