Seb has enjoyed a colourful career to date, having notched up 20 years within the advertising industry for the likes of Shortlist Media and Digital Cinema Media. However, a surprise redundancy situation at the start of 2019 presented a real opportunity to rethink his future. As part of his sabbatical, he has launched himself into the Freshwalks family to further his fitness levels whilst networking. You can find out more about Seb on his LinkedIn profile here.
I popped my Freshwalks cherry on the Chinley Circular just last month. This was a 4-hour springtime hike in the high peaks of Derbyshire. It had been labelled as “Medium” in difficulty, but I was quickly out of breath with an initial incline up Mount Famine. The day was fantastic, if not a little blustery, with many a dog having to be carried over the tops for fear of being blown off! A few beers and bonding after our exertions topped a brilliant day (and I must praise the cheese pie with triple cooked chips at The Old Hall Inn). The day didn’t end there however! I even got cajoled into sharing a bottle of wine at Manchester Piccadilly with my new friend Viv Parry on the return home!
I’m a Freshwalks novice really, with three walks under my belt. I decided to test myself on the last one I did, which was the 8-hour Alport Valley walk last month, where we tackled both Kinder Scout and Bleaklow in one day!
Whilst the fresh air and exercise does wonders for my health kick, it’s absolutely all about the people for me. My long-standing friend Baz Lowe introduced me to Freshwalks and said that he thought I would really enjoy the sociable aspect, and he was dead right. I felt at home instantly.
I really enjoyed the family walk up Mam Tor, not least because it reminded me of my walks with my Dad and the family when I was young. Freshwalks doesn’t discriminate at all, you make friends across the board through your mutual love for the outdoors. It was great to see three generations of walkers enjoying the countryside together.
I’m never without my Fjallraven snug hoodie with a brushed fleece lining, it’s an absolute winner on the chillier adventures!
Struggling to keep the howling winds at bay on the Chinley summit. People were clutching their dogs for dear life! It was ace!
Not yet, although I have connected with a good number of interesting people and will continue to foster those relationships, both personally and professionally.
Can I have four?
Will Kintish – The networking King! Will is incredibly affable and likeable. Not only did he have some great stories, but he was a terrific listener with a genuine interest in what I had to say.
Jessica Saoud – Everyone should get to know Jessica. Such a mature head on her young shoulders. I defy anyone not to feel uplifted and energised after 10 minutes in her company!
Julia Mitchell – Julia also works within the communications industry, so we had lots to talk about. But this rapidly snowballed into our travel passions and love of interiors too!
Viv Parry – Viv is a total scream. A potty mouth and a lover of wine, but also sensitive, a fantastic listener and the perfect home-time journeying pal.
EVERYONE should commit to at least one Freshwalk, to experience the many ways in which it can support you. The last 6 months for me have been full of uncertainty and mixed fortunes but meeting an array of different people in the great outdoors has been an absolute tonic. The walks are also organised to perfection, always with a cosy pub to reward yourself at afterwards. If there’s any better way to network than this, then I’m all ears!
I would say that Freshwalks helps me forget, rather than think. That’s not a negative thing, it just means that connecting with nature enables me to destress from the everyday and refocus my mind which, to me, is the most important thing right now. I found that the walk itself gave me chance to have one-on-one time with people and share experiences, but the pub at the end was more of a networking opportunity. My advice is not to over analyse but do what your gut tells you on the day.
I recently walked the Old Man of Coniston which was a favourite in my youth. The views are still as stunning as I remember!
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