Emma’s Army: Loud ‘n’ Proud

When I signed my kids up to walk part of the Cotswold Way for Emma’s Army against cancer, I told them about it briefly, then didn’t mention it again. I didn’t want to pressure them into it. If they chose not to do it, that would be fine – 8.6 miles is a long way when you’re 8 or 10. But my kids are determined and committed. They got up on Sunday morning and both of the younger two told me they didn’t want to do it. But that wasn’t the same as saying they weren’t going to do it. They then went on to talk to me about the walk and where it went, what they would see and what they would do. They were totally up for it!

The route started where we had finished the previous day at Leckhampton hill. I had been worried about how the kids would cope with a long, steep hill from the car park just to get us back onto the Cotswold Way, but Emma had found a much better car park, which was right on the route. Emma’s Army was much bigger for day 4 – Julie and Katie were still there of course, along with Katie’s husband, and Emma’s friends Dave and Jacque. Then there was my three kids, plus Emma’s daughter, Bunny, who was going to walk the first three miles to Crickley Hill.

We set off up a steep slope, then out into the open, with stunning views of Cheltenham. But wasn’t Cheltenham getting nearer? Shouldn’t it be getting further away? Yes and yes. We’d gone the wrong way. It was only about a quarter of a mile, but we needed to turn round. We were actually supposed to be walking up a road, which was a gradual climb and a bit boring. It seemed to go on forever. I walked at the back with the two little girls, who were chatting away, and kept needed reminding to speed up a bit. The boys were right at the front and I hardly saw them, until we started walking under some trees and they spent a mile or more sticking weeds on everyone. Thankfully, the adults all seemed perfectly happy to have kids they’d never met before sticking weeds on them.

PicMonkey emmasarmyCollage

We got to Crickley Hill and saw two amazing sights (three if you count the view) – an ice cream van and a toilet block. Everyone had an ice cream and a wee. Emma’s husband arrived to pick Bunny up, but she didn’t want to go – she was too happy walking. I knew she was keeping my daughter’s spirits up, and that it would be harder to keep my daughter going once she’d gone. So Emma decided to let her stay until the next hill.

The ice creams gave the kids a boost. Suddenly the girls weren’t at the back any more. They were right at the front and running, jumping and bouncing all over the place.

The trail brought us onto one of Gloucestershire’s busiest roads and most notorious junctions, The Air Balloon roundabout. We had to cross one road and walk up the steep path alongside one of the others. I grabbed my daughter’s hand and made sure my younger son was with another adult to cross the road. It wasn’t pleasant walking by the road – it was hot and noisy and the kids were ready for another break. As soon as we got out into the open on Birdlip Hill, they sat down for lunch.

Then it was finally time for Bunny to go home. As predicted, my daughter immediately went downhill (in the metaphorical, not literal sense) at that point. She wanted to go home, she was tired, she wanted to eat, but she wasn’t hungry… I stopped briefly to put her drink away, and the others were gone. It took us ages to catch them. We’d obviously been walking a little slower to make allowances for Bunny and, as soon as she’d left, everyone had picked up the pace. Maybe they didn’t realise my daughter is only a year older than Bunny.

We walked eight and a half miles at Snowdon, but I’d forgotten the minor detail of the mile and a half my daughter had done on Daddy’s shoulders. But Daddy and his shoulders weren’t there on the Cotswold Way. So Emma very kindly arranged for my daughter to ‘borrow a Daddy’ and she had two piggybacks from Dave, which helped her to recharge her batteries and lift her spirits.

Daughter, Cotswold Way, Emmas Army, piggyback

The person I thought would struggle most was my younger son. He was so upset by the sheer height of Snowdon that he’d been too frightened to make it to the top. He’d also moaned for the entire duration of a three mile walk we’d done over Christmas. I knew he could do the distance physically, but I thought he would be bored and that would make it hard for him. How wrong I was! From when we dropped Bunny off, I only saw him as a spot in the distance. He led the way from Birdlip Hill to the end of the trek at Coopers Hill.

The last leg of the trek was very muddy. The mud was impossible to avoid. Two years ago, mud had made my daughter cry but now she was embracing it – happy to walk through it rather than try to get round it. And then we came out into the open and there were houses! We were reaching civilisation – the end was in sight.

We finished at a little car park on Coopers Hill (home to the world-famous cheese rolling). My 8 year old and 10 year old had walked 8.6 miles, plus a bit extra where we went wrong, on a hot day. My 12 year old had walked nearly 20 miles over the weekend. It was a fantastic achievement. I couldn’t have felt more proud of them.

I am in awe of Emma, Julie and Katie who are walking every day until Saturday – 10 days and 104 miles – all the way to Bath along the Cotswold Way.

Emmas Army, charity, walking, Cotswold Way

It’s not too late to sponsor us! If you think what my kids did was amazing (I know I certainly did!), we would be very grateful if you could spare a Β£ or two for Cancer Research UK. You can sponsor us right hereΒ http://www.justgiving.com/MumofThreeWorld

If your kids or you have achieved anything to be proud of lately, please link up your posts below.

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Author: Sarah Mummy

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59 Comments

  1. That’s so very impressive. They did really well and a big bonus for your daughter to get the piggy backs πŸ™‚ well done!!

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    • Thanks very much, they did brilliantly! Those piggybacks were a lifesaver though.

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  2. That’s a great achievement and definitely one to be proud of. I used to love going hiking but haven’t been since I started having children. I would love to get them in to it one day, but at the moment I can just imagine them moaning the whole time!

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    • Kids are very good at that! I wouldn’t have braved it a couple of years ago and I must admit I was a bit nervous about going that far with them, but they’re all pretty determined.

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  3. Well done, 8.6 miles is quite some distance especially for little legs. You all need to very proud of what you have achieved

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    • Thanks very much πŸ™‚

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    • Thank you! They did really well πŸ™‚

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    • Thanks very much, I’m so pleased we did it and so proud of them all πŸ™‚ x

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  4. Aww well done to all of you, especially the kids! Thats a long way to walk and it sounds like it was for a very good cause so definitely a reason to be proud πŸ™‚ xx

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    • It is a long way! Thanks very much πŸ™‚

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  5. Well Done, that’s a very impressive distance, especially for the little legs amongst you. You should be so proud of yourselves πŸ™‚ xx

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    • Thanks very much, we’re really pleased with our achievement!

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  6. Well done you and well done to the children. I don’t think I could get H to walk that far (even with piggy backs) and he isn’t that much younger than your daughter.

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    • Thanks very much! I thought she’d do it as I know how determined she is – and I’d seen her do almost as far at Snowdon.

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    • Thanks very much, Emma’s Army has done brilliantly. It was great to be a part of it.

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      • Well done again my lovely on achieving such a fantastic cause. thanks for linking up with #MagicMoments

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  7. Such an amazing thing to be part of, and fabulous achievement for the kids. Although it sounded like quite hard work at times, i’m sure they are really proud of themselves for completing this part of the walk. Emma is an incredible woman #PoCoLo

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    • Thanks very much. Emma is amazing and the kids are really proud of themselves.

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    • Thank you! You say such lovely things, I really appreciate that.

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  8. Wow you are amazing for doing this, I think it is amazing that your family got behind you to do it too, they are a real credit to you/.

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    • Thank you! They are brilliant. I know they can walk because of the Scouts, but it was still a challenge.

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    • Thanks very much, I’m so proud of them πŸ™‚

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  9. This is a great read! Almost feel like we walked it with you, but of course that’s easy to say sat on the sofa! I just think your children are amazing. Knowing how much mine complain if they even have to walk around town, I really admire them for walking that far. It’s been really interesting to share your journey through this with Emma. x

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    • Thanks very much, what a lovely thing to say! My kids aren’t immune from moaning when walking round town either! x

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  10. Wow, well done your kids! Its often the way, isn’t it, they go and confound your expectations nearly every time with things like this. My son would’ve been so up for this, but not my daughter (2yrs older) unless she had a friend and lots of ice cream to keep her going. Bet it was beautiful though. Well done you all!

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    • It really want beautiful! Thanks very much. Ice cream always makes things better, but I was fairly convinced my kids would manage this – with or without ice cream!

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    • Thanks very much, it really was πŸ™‚

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  11. That’s really impressive – and something they will remember for a long time πŸ™‚

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  12. You have all done some amazingly well but I have to say a big wow and well done to the kids – they are outstanding πŸ™‚ Sorry for the little bit of sponsorship – I wish I could have given more. Well done again. Thank you for linking to PoCoLo πŸ™‚ x

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  13. Well done to everyone, wow that is some miles to walk, they all did great πŸ™‚

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  14. That is such a fantastic achievement for the kids, they did brilliantly. And, as part of such a wonderful walk, really impressive all round.

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  15. Wow, that is a fab achievement for them! Walking with kids (we’ve done a lot over the years with my husbands family friends) is so funny – they run around like mountain goats. And then stop to do something ridiculous like have a sheep poo fight!
    #PoCoLo x

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    • That’s about right! They zigzag around so they’re actually covering more distance than they need to. You wonder why they don’t conserve their legs/ energy, but they’re not bothered!

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  16. You are right to be proud of your three kids Sarah. well done to them and you for walking for such a fantastic cause.

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    • Thanks very much, Candace. They did brilliantly and I was glad we were able to make our own little contribution to the cause. x

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  17. Wow, this is a fabulous achievement by all, but extra congratulations to the kids! You should be very proud of them all x

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  18. What an achievement! You must be really proud of your children. Mel #MagicMoments

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  19. Well done all of you on such an amazing achievement, such a great cause and I am so impressed by the kids. Brilliant! #magicmoments

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  20. Such an incredible achievement Sarah – well done to everyone involved. The kids did so well didn’t they. Must have been a great walk with superb views and scenery. Such a wonderful part of the world. Thanks for sharing with #whatsthestory

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  21. This is fantastic, I don’t think I would have been able to do that walk. With the bump it is definitely a no go lol. So proud of your family they really do give everything a go :0)

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  22. Wow, that’s an amazing achievement. I bet you are very proud of the three of them.

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  23. What an amazing achievement, for you all! You should all be very proud of yourselves indeed. A fabulous cause walked for!! x

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  24. Congratulations on your family achievement!

    We have not done one as a family yet. Even if kids didn’t quite understand well what the walk was for, I’m sure someday when they read this post they will appreciate the walk.

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  25. What a brilliant achievement by everyone involved and you should all be very proud of yourselves. And as someone who used to live near Cheltenham I loved reading about places I used to walk. Happy memories! Although a word to the wise. If you ever arrange to meet anyone at The Air Balloon car park to exchange something (as I did) be aware that there are TWO car parks. In the days before mobiles this meant we never met up!!

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  26. I just love that last picture of all the brave adventurers on their phones!! πŸ™‚

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    • That picture made me laugh! I hadn’t even realised they were all on their phones until I saw it later. I was rather proud of myself (as a total phone addict) that I was on my phone less than the other walkers. Even my kids noticed that! πŸ™‚

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  1. Project 365: Week 21 - Mum of Three World - […] 139 – Monday 19th May – while my kids and I were off walking with Emma’s Army, my husband…

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