At first it was the snow, then a family wedding, but it was mostly guilt that spurred me to take action.
Since January, after putting in a hard day’s graft, while my colleagues have tootled off in their cosy warm cars, at least twice a week I’ve laced up my walking boots for a three mile trek home.
I enjoy driving, but I don’t drive in snow, so after Christmas when the white stuff came – and kept on coming – I ditched the car and began walking instead.
It wasn’t long before I started to feel the benefits. Instead of arriving home exhausted I felt invigorated, my backache from hours of sitting in front of a computer had disappeared, and the stresses and strains of the day receded with every step of my homeward journey.
What should have been a chore then became a matter of routine, and with an important date looming on the horizon – my son’s wedding in May – I decided to keep up my new ‘fitness’ regime in the hope that I’d shed a few pounds so I could fit into that all-important dress.
Anyone who knows me, knows I don’t do ‘dressing up’ and I certainly don’t do ‘dresses’ – but you can’t really rock up to your first born’s big day in jeans and a T-shirt can you?
However it was also the fact that I was one of the founder members of the Great Spen Valley Health Challenge that really spurred me on to ensure that what could have been a passing phase actually became a lifestyle change.
The group, spearheaded by Legacy Sport based at Spen Valley Sports College, was set up to get ‘inactive’ people active, but the more meetings I sat in on, the more I realised that I was one of the very people they were targeting.
I’m not sporty, I’m rubbish at running and swimming, but what I can do is walk!
And so now I’m putting one foot in front of the other to raise money for the Reporter Series Fund.
While my colleagues Hannah Ridgeway and Kate Wobschall are doing a coast to coast challenge on their bike and horse respectively, I am doing the same on foot, clocking up the 182 miles by walking home – and I’m already nearly a third of the way there.
The Reporter Series Fund raises money for Kirkwood Hospice, the Forget me Not Children’s Hospice, Asthma UK and One Community.
It’s a great cause, and all my colleagues are taking part in a whole host of challenges. To donate, visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/reporterseriesfund.
Oh, and for the record, I did manage to squeeze into the dress. I certainly didn’t outshine my new daughter-in-law, who was as stunning, beautiful and radiant a bride as you’ll ever see, but I hope I did them proud.