Pendeen Watch – Sennen Cove (9 miles)
Distance from Minehead – 255.4 miles / Distance to Poole– 376.6 miles
Today I paddled! I have been walking for over 3 weeks all along the coastal path and yet today is the first time that my feet have come into contact with the sea! It was glorious, if a little cold (or painfully cold if I am really honest!) on the beautiful golden sand at Sennen Cove. It was just what my feet needed and it was the thing I had been walking to all day – my walking incentive.
A few days ago I met a woman who had been dragged out to the coast path by her husband, under the promise of a nice coffee and slice of cake at their destination. By the time I passed her she was exhausted and absolutely desperate to stop walking. She was devastated to hear that she still had several miles to walk, but was spurred on once again by the motivation of this coffee and cake. I have no doubt that it was the best thing she would eat for a while, particularly after such a hard day’s walk!
I have really enjoyed walking with such a varied group of people along the way so far, but it is interesting how similar folk are with regards to incentives to keep going. The idea that we can have a snack break when we’ve walked a certain number of miles or for a certain length of time, and not a moment before. The thought of a treat such as an ice-cream when we’ve reached half way. The motivation of enjoying a sit down over the next hill, or in my case today, having a paddle once the stage was finished.
One person commented to me that it didn’t mean that they weren’t enjoying the walking, it was just a tool they used to keep them going and on track. It got me thinking about what motivates me in life. What is it that keeps me going and on track? My big aim in life is ‘to change the world’ (into a better place I should probably add) with my current aim being to finish walking these 630 miles from Minehead to Poole. But perhaps, just as it has been helpful to have smaller incentives to motivate me along an immediate section of the path (usually centred around food), perhaps my life would benefit from smaller incentives to keep me motivated daily in my bid to make this world a better place. I am not sure that my waistline could manage these incentives to be based around food, or that on most days the thought of a paddle would spur into action. I am sure that on some days the thought of doing good, bringing a smile to someone’s face, the warm glow of knowing that I’ve done a job well done, would be enough to keep me motivated towards my goal. But there are days when things are a bit of a struggle, when being nice seems like too much effort and the idea of little ol’ me being able to make a considerable difference seems laughable. It is perhaps on those days that I should try to remember that what made me start out on this journey was the not the idea of little intermediate rewards. I didn’t decide to walk all this way simply for an ice-cream or a piece of fudge – believe me there are easier ways to get them! But they have helped me to stay focused and motivated day by day. In the same way no matter what we use to motivate us to keep going, these little incentives can be the difference between giving up or reaching our goal – no matter how long it may take!