I was working as the Director of Development at Chelsea Academy in London, when I decided to sign up for Walk The Walk’s Inca Trail Peru. My work-life was based around fundraising, encouraging support for a school in the centre of London, so I decided I could use these skills to raise money and support for a charity I knew could help so many people. It had been an ambition of mine for over ten years, to make this trek and in that time I had become well aware of the fantastic work Walk the Walk was doing in the fight against breast cancer, a cause dear to my heart.
I had previously supported and sponsored several of my friends as they took part in Walk The Walk challenges and knew that this was a charity I would support in every way I could. The Inca Trail Peru was a mixture of a unique experience and above all an opportunity to challenge oneself, physically and mentally.
I remember the amazing feeling as we finally reached the Sun Gate and looked over the incredible Machu Picchu – so much had brought us to this point and not just the four day trek, but the preparation and hope that we would achieve our goal. Now more than ever it all seems poignantly worthwhile, every woman on our team had and has since, in some way, been affected by breast cancer and I am sure we all felt we had played our part in fighting against it.
Even at the start of the trek when we paraded in our Walk the Walk bras in a village that had never seen such a spectacle, we were told by some of the local women and the Major, that by doing this there were women and families in Peru who would know just a little bit more about how to watch for the signs for breast cancer. Most importantly it triggered curiosity – what were these crazy ladies doing?! To travel so far from home and still to be able to bring awareness was a huge encouragement at the beginning of what was to be an incredibly challenging four days.
I will never forget the breath taking view over the tops of the Peruvian mountains, the pink sky just sitting on top of them as the sun started to rise and the cloud sitting low on the peaks. I was on my own for just a few moments, exhilarated and feeling quite literally on top of the world.
The next challenge is to the arctic…. sign up here to find out more and find out what you’re made of: www.walkthewalk.org/Challenges
words by Sophie von Maltzan