When people turn 30 they tend to either run a marathon, have a kid, or quit their job and move to Morocco to become a yoga instructor.
I am doing none of those things.
Instead, thanks to some deep self-loathing and a desperate need to achieve something this year, I've signed up to walk 100km (that's 2 and a bit marathons) across the Jurassic Coastline in 36 hours.
At 5pm on the first day and after 58km, I'm joining forces with Mumma B for an epic buddy comedy-esque adventure across the remaining 42km, overnight, in an attempt to make it to Bridport for breakfast.
Not going to lie, the furthest I've walked is... significantly less than 100km. And I have 3 months to get it together and get in shape. BUT it is all for a great cause: New Horizons Equine Assisted Learning (EAL).
There's a total of 2,300m to walk up during this event - luckily I can train in Cambridge which is famous for its hills.
At New Horizons EAL, the small team work with children, youngsters, and adults from many different backgrounds and with various needs, using horses to help them deal with behavioural difficulties and develop life skills like goal setting, lateral thinking, or motivation. Horses are non-judgemental (although they can be incredibly stubborn) so they're a good vehicle to encourage people to identify behaviour and the changes they may need to make without "being told what to do".
The team there works with kids and adults with challenging issues from learning difficulties and ADHD, to addiction recovery and dealing with grief.
They also helped me, when I had to intermit from university due to depression, had absolutely no clue what I was supposed to do for the rest of the year. By giving me an opportunity to support them I had a reason to get up in the mornings and time to work with the horses myself as part of my recovery process. They also gave me a damn good excuse for not showering first thing...
The horses live in a herd, like they would in the wild and have some fascinating group dynamics
They're a teeny tiny team, with a shoestring budget and no direct government support for what they do, and keeping horses in good health and hay costs money. Many of the horses have also either been rescued or come from difficult backgrounds themselves. I know they have so many plans to expand and grow but they need a bit of a boost!
I'll be honest, I could have signed up to raise money for one of the large charities and had my event paid for, but I've chosen to pay for it myself because I really believe in what New Horizons are doing, and it's one small way I can pay them back for what they've done for me.