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Tuesday, 24 January 2012

January 2012
   The Leggies in Motion

   Accumulative Miles Walked 40.3
   Total Calories Burned 4020

   The Alternative Olympic Legacy

   Number of Free Tasters Given 29
   Number of Free Tasters Remaining 971

January for me used to me a month to just get through. After the Christmas build up and festive jollies everything suddenly feels empty, vacant and very flat. Nordic Walking has completely changed that for me and I now see this month as well as the winter season  through different eyes. The absence of leaves on the trees offer us previously hidden views and natures barrenness reveals paths yet unexplored.

There is also nothing quite like a challenging goal to lift the spirits and galvanise action, as I have found with my Alternative Olympic Legacy and my pledge to give 1000 FREE TASTERS by the end of 2012. I'm off to a good start with 29 and still counting. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step so far that's 29 done!

Walk of the Month
Living in Landon Hills we are spoilt for choice, there is not much that can compare both in beauty and variety. However, I think the GOLD award this month has to go to Hadleigh Country Park and the Olympic Cycle Track, it was a quite a bit special.

After a somewhat  bumpy start with the discovery that there are two car parks we all eventually found each other and started our walk from an entrance on St Mary's Rd. We followed the natural and well trodden path along the top of Benfleet Downs taking in the  vast views over the boatyard and Benfleet Creek. It was the crispest and brightest of January mornings and the high winter sun dazzled as it reflected off the water. The chill of the  days freshness was soon a memory as the sun warmed our cheeks and the  occasionally soggy terrain  raised our heart rates as we cautiously negotiated the slippery slopes ! We adopted a trekking style for this purpose praying we would remain upright! Not a problem for the Leggies, intrepid and on a mission to find the Olympic Cycle Track.

 "Where the hell is it " I  wondered silently, secretly worried that I wouldn't find it  and my promises too the Leggies  of a 'pre Olympic nose' would be dashed.  We continued up a steep slope and my prayers for a 'sign'  were answered when a very helpful cyclist came along. In spite of having to get off his bike to tell us directions halfway up a hill he remained super friendly and pointed us in the right direction. It wasn't long before the detectives among us started spotting tyre tracks and other 'cycle clues' that indicated we were getting close.

 As if on cue. and as we stood peering into a deep groove in the ground that revealed the tell tale signs of tyre tracks on an incredibly steep incline,( it would probably be easier to cycle up an escalator!) a determined cyclist was edging his way up.  For the Leggies, in that moment, this was OUR Olympics and we clapped and cheered as he made his way past us. As our eyes followed him up his destination just happened to be the closet you could get to the Olympic cycle track. We had made it! 
Impressed with the way the track had been carved naturally out of the side of the hill, as we headed back we appreciated how the landscape has been left unspoiled. After crossing the marsh and railway track we walked along side Benfleet Creek towards the boatyard.  A good mile of level ground for an easy leg stretcher, the sun now even warm on our face and a sense of mission accomplished!

NB. The picture that frames this biog is the Hill where the Cycle Track is located: South of the Salvation Army farmland and East of Hadleigh Castle.
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