By: Blonde One

No, don’t worry, I haven’t gone completely mad! Well, at least no more mad than I was anyway.

I have been thinking about how many hills the Two Blondes climb on a fairly regular basis and wondered why we choose to do it so often and how do we make it easier. The first part of my thinkings has drawn a blank – I have no idea why we choose to walk up so many hills. There are plenty of places to go – on Dartmoor and elsewhere – that don’t include such steep inclines but we seem to ignore these in favour of a hard slog. However I did come up with a few suggestions as to how we make it easier and I thought I would share them with you in case you were ever in the same position as us and were struggling up a hill that seemed to go on forever!

First and most importantly: DON’T LOOK UP! Keep your head down and pretend that the top of the hill is just a few steps away. No matter how long you leave it before you look up the top never gets close as quickly as you would like it to.

Secondly: remember the tortoise and the hare? Aim for tortoise pace. Not only will this mean that you get to the top while still being able to chat, but it also means that you still look as if you have some life in you and are not about to pass out!

Next: remind yourself of the treat that’s in your bag that you will have already burnt off all of the calories contained within. At the top you will be able to eat what is essentially a no-calorie bar of chocolate, or at the pub later you will be entitled to a sin-free pint.

Fourth: telling yourself enough times that “I love climbing up hills” will maybe persuade you that it’s true. Imagining yourself at the top also serves as a good motivator.

Next: use your body. If your legs muscles are hurting: clench your buttocks. I’m not sure of the science but this seems to alleviate some of the ache in my legs. Swing your arms (or use a walking pole to the same effect). This helps to build some momentum and adds a bit of energy to your walking. Also as you put the weight on one leg, lock the knee of that leg. This gives a bit of rest to the leg muscles in the brief moment when the skeleton is supporting your weight.

Lastly: take a camera and every now and then stop and take a photo of the low country behind you that always looks so stunning.