As you know by now, this week Spabreaks.com launched the first Women’s Wellness Week , with the message #bekindtoyou, to encourage all women to do something to be a little kinder to themselves every now and again.
To launch the week however, four members of the team did a 100 mile walk to raise money for this year’s beneficiary charity, Look Good … Feel Better, but in addition to being an achievement that they are all rather proud of, it also proved to be one with a lot of lessons, which I am sure have greater significance in the wider worlds of work and general life, but that you would probably only become aware of if you were to set out and walk 100 miles (or approximately 220,000 steps according to our Fit Bit). So I thought we would share with you a few thoughts that we had along the way …
1) Be prepared to make changes … ‘The best laid plans of mice and men can often go astray’ said Robert Burns, and he was most definitely right. With all the planning in the world, the road you end up taking may well have to change (thank heavens for support cars, mobile phones, and Google Maps!) Whether it’s the weather, health, or other unforeseen circumstances, don’t always expect your route to be set in stone – think about the long term achievement – it’s a marathon (nearly four in this case) not a sprint. If you don’t believe us, picture four girls straddling a ditch with the footpath blocked by cows on one side and unsurpassable corn fields on the other; you haven’t seen teamwork until you are pushing your colleague through a barbed wire fence with a stick.
2) Making someone else smile really boosts your mood … There is that point in all of our lives when we realise that giving really is better than receiving. So putting that into action we handed out Golden Tickets to people we met along our walk. They were really of the Willy Wonka variety, sealed in a gold envelope with hidden prizes inside – anything from a £10 spa voucher to an overnight spa break for two. We had an overwhelming response from the spa venues that we work with wanting to contribute to this, and we can’t thank them enough because not only did they make the recipients smile, but that feeling of making someone else’s day really boosted our mood when we were tired and worn out! Our hearty thanks goes to Holland House Bristol, Ragdale Hall, Stapleford Park, Longhirst, Redworth Hall Hotel, Amida Spa Farnham, Bishopstrow House, Yew Lodge, St Pancras Spa, The Winchester, Bexleyheath, Linden Hall, Oulton Hall, Harte and Garter, Cleve Spa, Clivden House, Macdonald Forest Hills, Cotswold House, Grayshott Spa Hotel, Village Herons Reach, Marriott St Pierre, Spa London, Sketchley Grange, Village Herons Reach, and the Q Hotels group.
3) It’s amazing what you can do when you have dry feet … On the second day of the walk we reached our mid-point amid torrential rain and with completely sodden shoes. We had walked for 16 miles across muddy fields, and at this point one of us had been forced to remove her shoe because the water had rubbed off her plaster and caused it to bleed. Needless to say, morale was very low, and with another nine miles to go for the day there were some serious questions about carrying on. We all stopped for lunch, and were buried under a pile of warm towels, dry clothes, and crucially, dry socks, thanks to Spabreaks.com Managing Director, Abi, who met us en-route. The mood lifted exponentially – it had rained on other days – wet legs, even wet clothes were tolerable, but wet feet were the real killer – I’m sure there’s a life lesson in there somewhere!
4) It’s a team effort … One of the things that made everyone the happiest were emails, Tweets, messages, texts and calls from colleagues, friends, loved ones, supporters of #bekindtoyou Women’s Wellness Week, and even more than that, visits from loved ones who met us along their route. Words of encouragement made sore feet more bearable, soothed frayed tempers, and made those aching limbs go that little bit further. Particular thanks has to go to one walker’s sister, who joined on the last day for what she thought was going to be a 15 mile stretch, and turned into 24 miles – now that’s love for you!
5) Treat yourself … Being a spa recommendation service, we do have some fantastic friends, who know how to take care of tired bodies. So while the daytime was characterised by map reading and carb loading, the evenings saw us wrapped up in the fluffy white dressing gowns of four of our spa venues who hosted us along the route! Macdonald Comb Grove Manor in Bath, Village Hotel Swindon, Donnington Valley in Berkshire (who had the mammoth task of not only boosting, but also drying out four girls who were soaked to the skin by the aforementioned weather!), and Harte and Garter in Windsor – you are total feet savers!
Ultimately, I think that all goes to show that our message is an important one – go out there, follow dreams, work hard, strive for the best, and push for what you want to achieve, but always remember to do a few things to #bekindtoyou along the way; it might just help you reach your destination!
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