Mind Hike – The Lakes

June 2017

Maurice Goldstone


Maurice Goldstone


MIND is a charity that supports many individuals. It will support more and more in time as people feel more able and encouraged to speak out about mental health issues. In June 2017, 4 colleagues and I set off to Grasmere in the Lake District. I have seen people close to me affected by mental health problems and wanted to show my appreciation to the charity (with a 24 hour, 40 kilometre trek…). In addition, I have tried to support staff with their own issues – whether personal or removed – and I simply adore the Lake District.

On arrival, we sat and shared stories with a group of 30 or so individuals bearing their souls to strangers about what they have, or haven’t overcome in their lives; or the lives of their loved ones. I felt privileged to be in their company, determined to nail this challenge for them, and nervous about how I would manage the terrain whilst watching the British Lions in their 1st Test against the All Blacks.

After a sleepless night (8 in a dorm including the world’s loudest snorer – must be official), we set off at 8 am in perfect conditions. And as it was a 24 hour sponsored walk, it naturally became an eatathon – I was onto my first chocolate bar within 15 minutes…

As the day went on, 2 things happened.

  1. I spent time in stunning scenery talking about anything and everything with people I would have otherwise never met (indeed talking to people I didn’t know helped with the fatigue levels)
  2. The size of the task dawned on me. Night fell and we were only halfway through the task; feet were aching; cramp was setting in; sense of humour failing; head-torch activated…

The early hours of the morning were the most difficult. Delirium was mixed with feeling overcome with love for my family. At 4 am, I felt discombobulated, dizzy and terribly nauseous trying to wolf some porridge down. But we kept going, kept each other going – and when I got my (twenty) second wind at 6 am with the finish in sight; I was immensely proud of myself, my colleagues and my new friends as we did the final 2 hours with a real spring in our step. Champagne (at 8am) has neither felt sweeter nor more emotional. And the journey back from Windermere? It went by in a flash. I suspected I snored as loudly on that journey as my roommate had 36 hours before…

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