Walking through the year for AnnaKennedyOnline
 
I still can’t believe we are in August. When we started the idea for this year’s fundraising for the charity back in January, August seemed a long way off. Thanks to our wonderful supporters, we will begin our August 31 mile walk (which will start in Watford on Sunday 20th) having already hit our £1000 target we set at the beginning of the year. We have already walked 212 miles this year and this has been possible because of the support we have received from donations, well wishers and people following our journey through the social media channels.
It hasn’t all been plain sailing though, a football injury to my back had me taken to hospital in May, and there was a time when I thought that the walk was over for this year. Due to the nature of how I like to challenge myself on these walks, it was my intention to walk them all as marathon style walks. One long walk at the end of month walking the amount of miles for the amount of days in the month (January 31 days = 31 miles). When the walking was stopped for the injury, I was adamant that I had to stick to this way of walking. My family and friends had other ideas for my own safety and wellbeing and insisted that no matter how long it took every mile counted, so whether I did one mile a day, or 5 miles a day, it was better than not doing anything or injuring myself beyond repair. Sometimes, as I found out, you need to listen to this advice and to the people that care for you. My family, friends, Anna and the rest of the AKO team all agreed that slow and steady was definitely going to win the race. I am a very determined person, and believe me this took a lot of persuading to make me see sense, but it is important to remember that even the smallest adjustments can help us achieve. It has been so challenging with this injury, an exceptionally hot June day and it actually took me until July to get my marathon walking back to full strength.
What I have loved is walking with friends and family, Zoe, my children, close friends, Peter who joined me for a few walks earlier this year and of course, my great friend Goddo even popping up to help also. Don’t forget, we haven’t stopped yet and I would love you all to continue to support us as we walk all the way through to December. You can follow our journey here on our Instagram page: https://www.instagram.com/insidetheorange/ and of course you can donate to the fantastic charity through this website directly to the charity or via our GoFundMe page: https://gofund.me/b1483922
 
This last year has seen me diagnosed as an autistic adult and it has been a time I have spent understanding myself and processing things since the diagnosis in November last year. I went from being an advocate for my son to having to fully understand myself and my own
diagnosis and life. To help other people who may be on similar path or may have family on the spectrum, I have started a new podcast called Advocate to Autistic, which is about sharing stories, both my own and listeners whose life experience can help other people
understand themselves and/or their loved ones who may have received an autism diagnosis in any stage of their life. You can find the podcast on Spotify here: https://open.spotify.com/show/7fRN3T3F9tOX6e4BWhyNWa, or where you enjoy your podcasts.
If you want to know any more about the walks or the podcast, or wish to reach out, then please feel free to contact me on the InsidetheOrange Instagram page.
Thanks for taking the time to read this article and supporting autistic people and their families.
All the best
Rich

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