Ursula steps out for charity and herself

A SEND woman has raised more than £300 for cancer support charity Maggie’s Centres by walking 10,000 steps a day.

Ursula Crawley was inspired to complete her first fundraiser as an antidote to her lockdown regime, and has dedicated her efforts to an aunt who lost her life to breast cancer.

STRAINING AT THE LEASH – Alfie is keen to get on with Ursula Crawley’s next walk in aid of the Maggie’s charity

“I realised I had got myself stuck in a rut, waking up every day at 8.15 to walk down the stairs, make a coffee, tie my hair up, sit at my desk and work from 8.30 till six,” Ursula said.

“I stayed in my PJ’s, no desire to look after myself. I gained weight and dreaded waiting for the call that we would have to return to the office instead of working from home.

“By pure chance I spotted on Facebook a charity event to walk 300,000 steps in March. It felt like even though we were in lockdown this was something I could physically and mentally achieve.

“I started walking before work, which meant I had to get dressed ready for the day. I needed to wake up that bit earlier. I work in front of a computer eight or nine hours a day, so aiming for 10,000 steps a day was quite a task.

“One walk was not enough, so I would then walk at lunchtime and bang on 6pm, just before it started getting dark.

“My poor puppy Alfie soon started feeling the aches and pains of walking so much, so sometimes I had to leave him home to rest.

“I started to notice my fitness improving and I was able to extend the walks. I managed to push the morning walk to an hour, then a short walk at lunch, leaving an evening walk in the sunset.

“When the challenge ended on 31 March, I’d beaten the target of 300,000 with 362,000 steps.”

Ursula’s efforts have been cheered on, from a distance, by her sister Sarah Holway.

“I saw her recently for the first time after a long break because of lockdown, and she was asking me to make the walk longer,” Sarah said. “That shows just how good the challenge has been for her and how she is carrying it on.

“The family are immensely proud of the goal she set herself, what she has achieved and the money she has raised so far. This is her first fundraiser and she has gone for it with huge amounts of commitment and determination. I could not be more proud.

“She’s battled blisters, wind, rain, mud, and juggled long days working from home and looking after her two sons and her fiancéMartin’s two daughters when they are with her.

“She didn’t have money to buy walking boots so she even had to do a day’s walking in crocs when the blisters were terrible. Now she’s asked the family for money towards the boots for her 30th birthday!”

 Ursula’s determination to keep walking is showing no sign of waning, and she and a “cream-crackered” Alfie recently clocked up a hefty 16,500 steps.

“I couldn’t have done it without this little super hero,” Ursula said. “He gave me a reason to go each morning, to see him enjoy the outside world too.

“It’s become part of my routine now. I’m feeling fitter and sleeping a lot better. I thoroughly enjoy the outside, the countryside and open space. It does wonders for the mind.”

To donate, visit www.justgiving.com and search for “Ursula’s Maggie’s 300,000 Steps Challenge”. For more information on the charity, visit www.maggies.org.

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