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Melanie takes on the Walk for Autism challenge in lock down!

Posted on 24th April 2020

Read how Melanie took on the Walk for Autism challenge and smashed it, despite the world being in lock down for Covid-19

Despite being on lock down while the world tries to fight against Covid-19. Melanie didn't let that stop her achieving her goal and taking on the Walk for Autism challenge, read below all about what inspired her to take part and the little tips she came up with to help her achieve her step and fundraising targets...

· How did you hear about Walk for Autism?

Since we started our journey in getting a diagnosis for our son, I've spent hours Googling different websites and following various links to learn more about this and with the social media sites being clever in knowing what you have looked at, the Walk for Autism link flagged up, so I clicked to learn more and decided to join in. So, the short answer is social media!

· You smashed the challenge for your little man Ashton – how did he feel about your challenge? Did he get involved at all?

666666666666Yes, smashed the challenge, which I'm so pleased about - once I agree to something, I'm all in and quite a determined individual, so nothing was going to stop me. Ashton was keen to 'egg me on' with getting in the steps, but was too anxious to go outside and walk/run with me, but did join in with running around in the garden on a couple of occasions.

· How did the Covid - 19 pandemic impact on your plans for Walk for Autism?

It didn't really impact them as, like I mentioned earlier, I'm a determined and competitive individual with myself, so nothing was going to stop me. As we are allowed a daily outing for exercise, I used this to get in my early morning, or early evening runs/walks. Also, as I am still venturing into the office a couple of times a week, with the rest of the time working at home, I decided to walk to and from work on these days rather than use the car - daily exercise therefore used and steps in - boom! The only impact really, was the timing for my walks/runs as I made sure I went super early to avoid too many humans as I'm not usually such an early riser!

· How did you manage to get all your steps in while on lock down?

Again, my determination and competitiveness allowed this, as did my walks to and from the office as opposed to using the car, and my early morning runs/walks when not heading into the office but working from home. This, together with the running and dancing about in the garden ensured I beat the 10,000 steps a day total - boom!

· What was the most unusual place you got steps in?

No places were really unusual as it was either in my garden, on my walk to and from work, or my walks and runs to and along our local seafront. There was a day in the office when at work that I stepped around the building up and down - as the majority of employees are working from home, it was only me in this area, so I stepped, skipped and hopped around singing at the top of my voice . . . . . until I realised about the camera in the office. Let's hope this footage is long gone by the time there is a return to work for the masses!

· You also smashed your fundraising target – do you have any tips to others trying to smash theirs?

I found that 'talking from the heart' when writing to friends and colleagues for sponsorship about my reasons for wanting to raise money for the cause really helped. I was open, honest and real in the challenges we have been faced with, both living with autism and getting a diagnosis. Also, tried all forms of media - email (fundraising link as my email sign off), Facebook and Instagram.

· What’s been the best thing about taking part in Walk for Autism?

Knowing that I'm raising money for a fantastic cause to help those living with Autism, but I also found the Facebook community page really inspiring and motivating and hope that my posts also motivated others. Since doing the walk, I've continued to aim for at least 10,000 steps a day to continue this as part of my daily routine - exercise is so beneficial for mental health too which has also helped, especially during lock down as Autism + lock down = CHALLENGING!

If you have signed up for Walk for Autism and you haven't completed your challenge yet then I hope Melanie's story has inspired you to take on your Walk for Autism Challenge. You might have to think more creatively about getting your steps in, but Melanie proves that if you put your mind to it you can smash it!

Check out Melanie's journey here

If you need any help and support please contat the Walking Buddies