Monday 29 January 2018      Guest blog
Participants at start of the MoonWalk

Signing up to the MoonWalk

I signed up to do the MoonWalk in January 2016, Like most of us, I was feeling guilty about overindulging during the festive season, and I wanted to give myself an incentive to get a bit fitter and healthier. I was also in the midst of planning my wedding, and thought that anything that got me looking better in my dress wouldn’t be a bad thing!

Looking back, I was really in denial about how inactive I was. I was busy with work, friends, family and – of course – wedding planning, and it was so easy to let exercise fall to the bottom of my priorities. My MoonWalk training was a fantastic way to start taking care of myself a bit more, not just physically, but mentally too.

How I trained for the challenge

The first change I made was skipping the Tube and walking to and from work, which is about 45 minutes each way. It was great to take that time to myself to listen to music, process anything I’d been thinking about, and get my legs moving. I soon began to change the way I thought about getting around, almost seeing it as a challenge. Whether it was meeting up with friends, heading into town to do some shopping, or going to different offices for work - if I could walk it, I would! 

I got myself a FitBit to track my steps, and before I knew it I was walking 15,000 steps every day, about 7.5 miles.  Some days, I’d do double that. Before I started my MoonWalk training, I was probably doing about 3,000! It was amazing the change that it made to my energy levels, my fitness and my health. I started going to the gym again, but for the first time I had a clear goal – to strengthen my muscles, train my legs, and walk as far as possible as quickly as possible.

As my training geared up, so did my fundraising. I’ve never done anything like this before, and I was so touched and humbled by how generous my family and friends were. I had people I went to school with getting back in touch and donating on my JustGiving page, telling me how their lives had been affected by breast cancer and wishing me luck. It helped me to keep in mind what all my training was for.

On the night of the walk

By the time the big day rolled round, I felt prepared, excited and only slightly nervous. But my nerves soon went away when I joined my fellow MoonWalkers at the starting line. It’s hard to feel worried when you’re warming up in a giant pink marshmallow on Clapham Common. It was more like a festival than a marathon, and it was so powerful to know we were all joined by something much bigger than ourselves – the determination to stop breast cancer in its tracks. Lots of other ladies were wearing signs dedicated to women they’d lost, and it was another important reminder of just how many people this awful disease touches. 

There were some tough times along the way – they don’t call it a challenge for nothing! But I knew that all my hard work would see me through, and I kept thinking of all the people who’d believed in me enough to contribute to my fundraising. Seeing London by night was beautiful, and passers-by offered such lovely words of encouragement. The volunteers around the route were incredible, and everywhere I looked there were men and women ploughing on, determined to reach the finish line, pushing themselves further than they ever had before, all for a good cause. 

By the time the MoonWalk was over, I’d raised over £450 for Walk The Walk. I’ve kept up my walking and by the time my wedding rolled round I was a stone and a half lighter and the fittest I’ve ever been. The MoonWalk helped me to change my life, but I know the money we’ve all raised has helped to change the lives of women, men and their families all over the UK, and that’s what makes it one of my proudest achievements. I’m already planning to sign up for the 2018 challenge!

Inspired by Rosie's story?

Why not raise money for Walk the Walk, the grant-making breast cancer charity and sign up to the MoonWalk 2018.

Sign up now

About the author

Rosie is our Trusts Officer and has been with Breast Cancer Now for almost two and a half years. Her job is to make sure charitable trusts and foundations hear about understand our fantastic research, and to tell them about all the good work we’re able to do thanks to their generosity.