For Paula, one of our mums, tackling the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge was a real test of endurance. But knowing she was doing it in memory of her daughter Amy drove her on and gave her a huge sense of personal achievement.
The Yorkshire Three Peaks is one of our toughest challenges. Covering 24.5 miles and scaling three mountains in the Yorkshire Dales, it’s much much more than a really long walk! So why would anyone tackle it?!
Paula Moorhouse (on the right in the picture above) did exactly that in September last year. “A friend suggested it,” she says. “I’d done a couple of 10K runs before but this was the chance to really push myself and raise money for Forget Me Not, who had been there for me and my family when Amy was born in 2013.
Amy was diagnosed with Edwards Syndrome, a rare but serious genetic disorder, shortly after birth, and given just a few weeks to live. “We were desperate to get her home – and Forget Me Not helped us do that, making sure we had all the medical equipment and support we needed. And when Amy died they took us to the Snowflake Suite at the hospice where we spent a few days all together. It sounds strange to say it, but it was a wonderful experience, in the midst of the awfulness that had happened to us.”
Afterwards, Forget Me Not continued to support Paula and her family. “They really helped me get through the next few months and helped me feel able to talk about what happened.”
It took a while, understandably, for Paula to feel ready to do any sort of fundraising challenge. “It was only last year I felt able to do something big,” she says. “And I’d never done anything like the Three Peaks before!”
Along with her partner Thomas and a couple of friends, Paula took on Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough. “Each mountain is very different – and even though you feel great when you reach the top of each one, it comes with the realisation you’ve still got to walk all the way down and onto the next one!”
“It’s a total endurance test,” she says. But it helped that lots of other people were doing it at the same time. “You felt part of something bigger. Everyone had their own story to tell of why they were doing it.”
Everyone, of course, has their own motivations for tackling a challenge like the Three Peaks. For some, like Paula, it’s in memory of someone they’ve lost. “Amy was in our thoughts the whole time,” she says. “She kept us going, she got us through.” For others, it’s the comradery and the powerful sense of all being in it together, supporting each other, particularly if that means being there to support mums and dads like Paula and Thomas.
Whatever your motivation, Paula says, “Having a reason to do it – if you’ve got that in your mind, you can do anything!”
And it was well worth the effort. “The sense of achievement at the end was just amazing. To know that I could do something like that. It felt incredible!” Not only that but Paula and her team completed the challenge in under 12 hours and raised a brilliant £768 for Forget Me Not!
If you’re thinking about taking on a challenge in 2019, Paula says, “Go for it! You might think you can’t do something but with a positive mental attitude and a reason behind you – yes you can!”
We’ve got lots of exciting challenges and adventures lined up for 2019 – not just the Yorkshire Three Peaks but the Yorkshire Three Peaks Xtrail Ultra, as well as runs, bike rides, skydives, even a trip of a lifetime to Everest Base Camp! Why not say yes to the challenge?