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 This is your chance to comment on what you see are the highs of walking.

We'd love to know if travelling actively has improved your lifestyle in any way.
With so much in the news on obesity and climate change it's easy to see how relevant our work is to get people travelling in healthier and more environmentally friendly ways. But it's your stories that will encourage more people.
Here are some ideas on the kind of thing that could work:

• Has active travel improved your journey to work - is it quicker because you're not stuck in traffic?
• Has walking helped you recover from an illness or helped you get fit or lose weight?
• Are you doing anything special with the money you have saved on travel costs?
• Or maybe you met your partner whilst out for a stroll - why not share your romantic tale?
 
To tell us your story, please email walkstories@stocktonsbigchallenge.org.uk
 
Tips for your email:
• Give a brief description of what happened, when, where and to whom
• Tell us how this affected the lives of the people involved - how did you / they feel?
• Please tell us why you think walking is important to you and to others.      
 

Your stories so far
 
by Jan L
I am entered for the Race For Life next Sunday 28th June. I want to run it although I am awaiting a knee operation very soon.  I want to run it for my Dad who I lost to the dreaded C.  Walking has helped me to build up my stamina and my fitness levels.  I have walked in some lovely places and had time to take in the scenery and see the wildlife we have in our country, which is on our doorstep.  Walking has built up my strength and determination to run and I can finally reach the 5K, bring on next week.  This one’s for you DAD!

by Charlotte H
Look what we see on our walk to school each day with the wee ones! Everyday is different: different plants, scenery, weather & obstacles!

by Vicki L
One of the fab things about walking is that it gives you the chance to see Wildlife. On a walk around Saltholme I was lucky enough to see a fox cub and on a walk around Thorpe Perrow I got the chance to enjoy watching the wallabies in Wallaby Wood (3 of whom were having a really noisy tussle with each other).

by Katy M (Stockton Borough Council)
Walking between work, school and childcare now I’ve found has given my children and I a great chance to talk in a way we wouldn’t have had in the car.  A bit like turning the TV off at the dinner table.  I think it’s brought us closer with a chance to really listen to each other and share stories.
 

by Angela C
Up until two years ago the only walking I did was to work and back. Last year I saw an advert to walk up Ben Nevis to raise money for kidney research.  As I had lost my dad in 2007 due to the failure of his transplanted kidney it was something that was a bit close to my heart.  I decided to take up the challenge and on the 15th October 2010 I was one of 100 people that walked up Ben Nevis with Kidney Research UK.   It was one of the most challenging things I had ever done in my life and at one point I thought I was never going to do it.  It was also emotional because a lot of the kidney patients were volunteers at the event and everyone had their own story – similar to mine.
Once I had done this challenge I was looking at something else to do.  That was when in February this year I committed myself to the China Trek Challenge with Kidney research.  On the 6th October this year I will be flying out to China with a group to walk the great wall.  It has been a massive challenge to raise the sponsorship money for the charity but I know the challenge is going to be hard.  We will be walking for between 3 and 7 hours each day and in total will be walking 80 miles over 7 days.  As part of my training I’ve been out walking in the Thornaby, Ingleby Barwick, Stockton Areas and also managed to walk up Roseberry Topping.  I did a sponsored walk in September and we managed to walk over ten miles up Roseberry topping, across to captain cooks monument and across the fells to the hanging stone and back.
I’ve never felt so fit and healthy in my life and its all down to the goals I have set myself.  If I can do it anyone can.

by Lesley W (HMRC Stockton Group)
My team in HMRC (about 12 of us) are challenging ourselves to walk 5000 miles in the run up to the Olympics 2012. This distance is the equivalent of walking from Beijing to London.
We all wear pedometers and record the distance we have walked each week onto a spreadsheet and then look to countdown to the start of the Olympics. Things are on course for success!
A team of our managers has also challenged themselves to get up from their desk each lunchtime and cycle (using our on loan cycles) and to cycle the 2012 miles. Again they all do this together and publish their efforts to their teams.
Small steps to being more active!

by Lesley H
I decided to start to walk into work (2miles) when the weather reports didn’t mention any rain at my travelling times. It has turned out to be a lovely walk there and back, with the sun even making an appearance for me on Wednesday! I enjoy my walks immensely; I have the radio on my MP3 so the traffic noise is abated a little too – you almost forget it’s rush hour. You see so much more when you’re walking, and Stockton has some lovely views and vistas as it turns out!
 
I intend to continue walking as often as errands permit over the summer, and beyond.

by Vicki L
I love walking from the station to work as it gives me a great chance to natter with a couple of friends as we all walk down from the station together and if it's a nice day that blast of sunshine and fresh air before I get to work really makes me feel good. It's also nice to see the ducks and other birds as we pass by the river.

by Judith W
I walk regularly as I have 2 dogs, who don’t care what the weather is like, they want to go out every morning. In the winter it can be difficult to get out of bed when its dark, cold and wet, but once I get out there in the fresh air, I am always pleased that I have made that effort.  At week-ends we go out for longer walks and sometimes walk along the beach.