Today marks the start of Lent..
40 days and nights where Catholics reflect and prepare for Easter. Typically making a sacrifice during that period to replicate Jesus’ sacrifice in the desert. 40 days without food or water.
Most of the time we give up sweets, chocolate, alcohol, meat.
Arguably, the things people give up for Lent are increasingly a religious obligation to diet. Rather than reflect, or connect.
Giving up carbs to lose 10lbs for summer.
This year I hadn’t given it a great deal of thought.
Recently having been working with a nutrition coach and not finding it too hard to give up food. It didn’t seem like a real sacrifice, or anything too out of the ordinary.
Then, whilst I was in Kenya, the reality of how far people walk for water sunk in.
So many people have to walk at least 10km each day to get a bucket of water. Girls are not able to go to school because they need to gather water for their family.
I wondered how I could replicate this. To understand on some level what it feels like.
Knowing of course, that I can never truly understand. London isn’t a place where there’s much threat to the water source. Even if there was a brief shortage last summer. If anything we typically have too much water – so much rain!
Knowing that I’m in a fortunate position in my life, compared to some.
So for Lent this year, I decided that every day I will run (or walk) the 10km to (or from) work. To represent the distance that many people have to walk each day.
Arguably, too much strain to run 10km a day. But ultimately, that’s the point. It’s not supposed to be easy. Of course it’s not supposed to cause injury either.
I hope that by the end of the 40 days I will feel some alignment with people living around that world that do not have the fortune we do to live in the UK – as much as we like to complain.
And at the end I plan to make a donation to support access to water for communities in need with what I save on travelling on the tube.
I’ll keep you posted on how sore my legs are throughout the next six weeks!