Claire writes: “Malvern is a wonderful place to live. And it’s 30 floors on a Fitbit to walk to town! That’s about 300 feet.  When we first arrived, I was stopping for breath 3 times on the way to the supermarket.  The hills are magical – so we often drive and park higher up so that we can walk to the beacon.  It has been my intention to walk up to the top from our house (1200 feet) as soon as I felt fit enough. Walking every day has slowly acclimatised my muscles to the hills, so on Sunday I set off. 

Once you get beyond the town, there are many routes to the beacon.  We learned from experience that round here the direct route is often too steep and that the switchback paths are more manageable.  On a switchback, you’re walking forwards and then you do a 180 degree turn and walk in the opposite direction.  The houses lower down the hillside look the same and different as you pass them again and again and each time they get a bit further away.  But you’re never actually backtracking because each switchback is getting you closer to the top.  After what seemed an age walking through the woods, I finally saw the beacon and where I was going.  

Often we feel like we are backtracking when we are heading towards a goal or a dream.  If it’s a switchback, we might still be moving towards it. You can only see that when you take a different perspective.

The worst part of those paths is the bit where they double back.  The paths themselves slope gently… and often as they turn you need to climb steeply to get to the next part. That bit is more difficult – even when you know and can see that the path ahead will flatten out again. That can be true with goals too, I think.”

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