I’m Stephanie Boon (aka Stephie, the woman behind the keyboard – that’s me up there in 2018) and I’m trying to reconnect with the adventurous teenager I once was: basically, I’m all about hiking. And 10 Mile Hike?
10 Mile Hike Is All About Hiking For Women, Wild Camping, Adventure And Getting Out Of Your Comfort Zone (Even A Little Bit!)
And, more importantly, helping you to get out of yours for hiking adventures of your own. Want to know more about 10 Mile Hike and the woman behind it? Read on my lovely, read on. (Well, maybe put the kettle on first…but don’t get too comfy!)
Well, it’s an ongoing process, a journey, isn’t that what life is? We keep heading towards those goals and dreams. But sometimes something comes along and knocks us down (chronic long-term illness in my case) and getting up again can be a bloody big struggle. Others reach ‘a certain age’ and stand around winded, wondering what happened – where the hell did the last 20 years go (job, kids, mortgage anybody?), and what the f*!* happens now?
But some of us (hands up if you’re one of us) realise
Life's too damn short to stand around like the proverbial rabbit in the headlights waiting to be squished.
And with that realisation along comes another big slap across the face: making changes means getting out of our comfort zone. But, we CAN do it, one small (and not so scary) step at a time! And I prove that to myself every day.
Travelling to Germany on my own when I was 15; getting on my 5-geared bike and hostelling with a school friend along the very hilly south coast from Hastings along over Beachy Head and The Seven Sisters, eventually heading inland and up through Winchester; hiking on the South Downs with a group of mates… just a few of the adventures I had before I even left home for art school in Cornwall (which is still my home) when I was 19.
But then what? Loads of mini adventures: walking (10 mile hikes, obviously), cycling and trail running (I couldn’t stop moving) and plenty of family walking holidays in The Lake District or wild camping on Dartmoor and the like. Then something happened: I saw the ‘big 40’ creeping over the horizon.
I signed up for a charity trek in Peru, determined that nothing and no-one would stop me hiking the Inca Trail before I hit 40 (I was 38). They didn’t. And the next year I signed a group of us up to do the Three Peaks Challenge.
I would not be down and out at 40: I, would be a hiker.
I was down and out at 40. Knocked off my feet by the aforementioned illness again (chronic depression). I had to dig deep. Really, really deep. And I had to push myself way out of my comfort zone every day just to keep going. Somewhere along the line I realised that I actually thrived on doing it outdoors (doh!) and I began inventing personal challenges like solo wild-camping or ‘proper’ map reading, and I took part in organised challenges like a 28 mile trail race in South Devon. And the more I did the more empowered I felt.
I think I may be slow on the uptake. When I look back there’s a thread that stretches back to those teenage years; it winds it’s way around the natural world, along cliff paths and up mountains, across moors and downland. Sometimes (to continue the hackneyed metaphor) the thread was kind of blowing in the wind without much purpose, so I decided to tighten it up.
I realised (finally) that I’m sick of looking wistfully at all those 20 year olds on Instagram hiking all the trails, climbing every mountain, having all the bloody fun (but good on them!). (Why not follow 10 Mile Hike on IG instead?!) I want some of that too, thanks. I bet you do too. The trouble is, I hear you say, that means getting out of that cosy comfort zone. And that’s scary as. Yes, it is. And it’s worth it. 100%.
I’ve been pushing myself out of my comfort zone for years now and it makes me feel alive, because there’s no better way to experience the world than by hiking through it. And doing it solo is the bees knees for me.
What about you though, you must be hankering for new adventures too, else you’d have jumped ship by now! What sort of adventures do you want?
Your next adventure is just around the corner, whether you need practical information or inspiration. (Find out what I’m ticking off my Bucket List right now – and discover lots of links to help you write your own.) Maybe you’re a complete beginner, or ready to step it up and head out for your first wild camp. You could be looking for inspiration for your next UK trail, or want read about inspiring women hikers. Perhaps you’re looking for ways to overcome your barriers to adventure: fear, anxiety, money, family, work, attitude (trust me, you’re NOT too old)…
How? With inspiration, preparation and nurturing a healthy dose of adventurous spirit here on 10 Mile Hike.
(And, in the near future, guided walks, multi day hikes and hiking workshops with a qualified Lowland Leader (ahem, that’s me! You can find out more about the national training scheme here – I qualified in 2018).
So, are you ready to get out of that comfort zone, you awesome woman you?
Come on then, get your hiking boots on, let's get outside and take life by the horns, because adventure awaits!
(And time really doesn’t!)