Ben Drummond, a year thirteen Sixth Form student is a source of inspiration in doing what you love. Ben is a keen hiker who, for many holidays, goes camping with friends and family in the lake district. Here, he and his dad go on long walks climbing mountains and this has sparked an innate passion in Ben to hike. In late May, Ben embarked on a five-day hike from his hometown, Newcastle Upon Tyne to Dunbar, located in East Edinburgh. I sat down with him to discuss this one-hundred-and-fifteen-mile walk.
So why? Why walk here in the first place, by himself? His answer:
“There isn’t really any reason, other than I just wanted to…So roughly a year and a bit ago before I actually did it, I just thought, ‘Oh I want to walk there.’ My gran lives there, so that’s why I chose there.”
It was not a straightforward road. There were enjoyable moments yes:
“[My] favourite area of it was when I went through Northumberland National Park…it was really nice and scenic”
However, there were also challenges:
“During the afternoon of day two, I was wanting to give up at that point”
Ben admitted during the interview that he had poorly prepared for the hike, in which he had done a 25-mile hike to Heddon-on-the-wall, which he had already found difficult and painful afterwards.
“But, me being me, I decided to do it anyway, even though I didn’t think I’d manage.”
With the entire journey posted on Instagram, Ben’s friends and family were there encouraging him every bit of the way as he traversed the hilly countryside of Northumberland, one of the largest counties in England. When I asked what pushed him forward, he said this:
“The food I’d like to say [He laughs]. Mainly…I called my mum when I got to Ingram, and we had a conversation, I obviously explained that it was really tough at that point already, and if I’ve got another seventy-five miles to go, I’m not sure if I want to do it, but she was like ‘you’ll really hate yourself now if you give up’, and I thought yeah, I would, so I just continued for the rest of the day and set up in a field somewhere, and it was fine”
A crucial step Ben made at the end of his walk was what he had learned to improve for next time. This was his short review of the challenge:
“I would say prepare better… because I wasn’t really good at that [and] maybe having trained a bit more before it as well… because by the end of the walk, I couldn’t walk.”
The physically and psychologically challenging journey Ben Drummond undertook over those five days was not perfect. He evidenced what it takes to stick with a hobby, but also how fulfilling it can be. At the end of the interview, Ben provided an interesting point:
“I would say that if you have an idea… if you keep going up to the point where people will say you won’t get past that point if you make it to the point, then all you have to do is do it, and then it’s done and you’ve proven everyone else wrong.”
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