The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Saturday, 14 July 2007

Setting the Date

I already said how we reached the decision to walk LEJOG. Now for the (slightly heavier) reasons for the timing.

In 2003 my father was diagnosed with cancer. By the time of his diagnosis it had spread throughout his entire body. He died in 2004 aged 59.

My parents had made various plans for their retirement. Clearly, those plans never came to fruition.

My mother’s consistent advice has been to do things whilst I’m young enough (good advice Ma!); not to rely on being able to do them later.

So, taking that good advice, we decided not to wait until retirement to walk the length of the country, but set a date that was (at that time) about 18 months hence – April 2008 - which gave us enough time to save the pennies necessary to both become simultaneously unemployed.

Since setting the date, three other members of my immediate family have been diagnosed with cancer. Being the only person in my immediate blood line that’s currently free of the disease (or at least as far as I know) really brings home even more the need to go and do things that I want to whilst I know that I can. After all, I may not be here in five years’ time – and I’d hate to leave this planet without at least having a good shot at my goal.

So, there you go – that’s how we came to decide to do LEJOG and why we’re doing it now. I doubt that I’ll ever have a good answer to the more fundamental ‘why’?

1 comment:

  1. Gayle - look to hearing about your LEJOG, your thoughts in planning and (presumably) when walking. I read Alan Sloman's blog and a new journey will be interesting to follow (and contrast). Your reasons have a resonance with me. My father also died at 59 with cancer - it hit him quickly and he was gone in a matter of weeks. Don't put things off that you could be doing now.