Challenging Myself – Mountain Climbing is Where its at (apparently)

Well, there we have it, it would seem that as of Saturday 10th March, I officially became ‘in training” to climb Ben Nevis! Is that challenge not what every unfit, pleasantly plump, gin loving, exercise hating 44 (soon to be 45) year old woman and her cancer fighting husband does????????

Lets give you a little background here. Each year, I like to set myself a challenge. Admittedly, these days it is usually a challenge that exercises my brain or adds to my repertoire of talents (yeah, that home furnishings course really made my curtain making first class…) rather than my very weak and feeble muscles. I had been struggling to find a challenge this year that I fancied, nothing was floating my boat or speaking to me. Inspiration was needed.

Last year, as you may have read in my post (An Uplifting and Emotional day – A Life Post ) you would have read how proud we were of our boys and the money they raised for Macmillan Cancer Research. They did the 12 mile, 25 obstacle Tough Mudder run, and it really inspired my husband and I to look at doing something that was a challenge, after he had completed and healed from the challenge of beating cancer of course!

At the finish line of the full Tough Mudder Challenge
why so serious boys? Anyone would think you just did the full Tough mudder…..

Now, over the years, we have done various challenges – white water rafting in dangerous rapids, a sky dive, a bungee jump, night time ship wreck dives, we’ve climbed Ayers Rock (as per the first picture), and deep cave potholed to name but a few. But, they were in our younger and fitter days! These days I look for something a little gentler……….

the challenge of white water rafting
Why am I always the only girl! Im rocking the helmet though…..
the challenge of a sky dive
yep, thats me, just coming back to Earth from 12,000 feet

So, of course, when my gorgeous sister in law phoned on Friday to see if we fancied setting ourselves the challenge to climb Ben Nevis in Scotland this year, it seems that the word Yes was out of my mouth before I could say “How Fricking High”! It also seemed, that within the hour, our train, hotel and car hire was booked! Well, we did have Scotland on our travel wishlist this year…

Challenge, is the word to take note of here. If I told you that walking up the very mild hill that I walk when I take my dog out leaves my lungs screaming and my heart raving to a un-natural beat, I would not be exaggerating! My fitness levels are zero. I have not taken part in any form of cardio type exercise for about 6 years. I have knackered knees from too many years of netball, I have way too much excess weight to be dragging up a hill let alone a mountain, and don’t even talk to me about those ugly walking boots, you have seen my shoe collection, right??

Vivian Westwood shoes perhaps a challenge to mountain climb in?
ideal for mountain climbing??

But, its on. As many of you know, our family has faced some pretty huge challenges over the last couple of years, and they proved to be no match for us. As the saying goes, “They looked in the eye of the Challenge and Gave it a Wink”. That is us. We are embracing this one fully.

So Mr Nevis, lets look at a few of your credentials, (just so you all get an idea what we are up against).

*Ben Nevis is the highest Mountain in the British Isles

*It stands just over 4400 feet above sea level

*It takes the average climber 4-5 hours to climb up (so thats about 2 days for me then)

*Ben Nevis is located in the Scottish Highlands, close to Fort William

*It was once an active volcano. Great. Thats just fab…..

*Its known as the mountain with its head in the clouds as the summit is shrouded in mist

*There are two main routes up the mountain, one thought of as more challenging than the other. Wonder what one we will be doing…….

I have to say, being the nature geek that I am, I am already excited about the scenery on route, and in Scotland itself. It looks so beautiful. We are going to need to get some advice on the best way to train for it, thats for sure. We are leaving the UK at the end of August, climbing the mountain early September, so we have 6 months. That is bloody scary! Just six months!!!!!!

Stock photo – credit pexels

The training – My eldest son has qualified to be a personal trainer, and has played high level football all of his teenage life. He is willing to help with our training, but he is a hard task master, (very bossy) so I think I may be pulling rank on him when he is telling me to run up hills! Apparently thats what we need to be aiming for! Someone best get a truck load of Victoria sponge at the top of the hill if they want me running up it, just sayin….

All joking aside, me and my sister in law, Mandi, think this will be really good for all of us. A very positive focus. Nik and I both feel that our life has been on pause while he has had his battle with cancer, which followed losing his Mum etc, and we need lots and lots of positive things in the diary moving forward. I told you in my goals post for 2018, we plan on grabbing this year by its hairy ones! We lost Niks Mum, my wonderful mother in law, to cancer 2 years ago, so Mandi, and her husband Kristian, also feel the same strong need for positive focus. I think it is a great thing for the four of us. Our family have done various things over the years to fund raise for cancer charities, and this will be another one that we will work hard to achieve. I also think setting challenges is incredibly beneficial to our mental health. It gives focus, aids a sense of achievement and adds new experiences to your life. Its all about living and experiencing life eh!

So, as long as Niks next couple of hurdles he has to get over are sorted and done, we will be climbing Ben Nevis in September. He finishes chemo in two weeks, so training will begin. If any of you have done anything similar, or have any advice to offer, I would be so grateful! Any training tips or guidance, hit me with it!

Id love to hear if you have set yourself any challenges over the years, of any form. Physical, mental, learning new skills, anything! Tell me all about them. Im interested. Do you think setting challenges helps with mental health? Is there something that you have in mind that you would like to try to do? What is your biggest challenge to date? Let me know in the comments xx






  1. March 12, 2018 / 9:51 pm

    Wow! Good luck, you’ll do great I’m sure. First step (haha) shoe shopping!

    • kerrylifeandloves
      March 12, 2018 / 10:50 pm

      Ha ha ha. You dont think the pink love heart shoes will cut the mustard then no??? haha xx Thank you x

  2. Jean
    March 12, 2018 / 10:51 pm

    Good luck to you both, so proud of you

    • kerrylifeandloves
      March 12, 2018 / 10:53 pm

      Thank you. Lets hope the training goes really well! It will certainly need to! haha

  3. Louise Rowling
    March 12, 2018 / 11:07 pm

    Ok ok what have you done with Kerry?! 😆 Kidding aside it’s fantastic and great that you are doing this and I’m absolutely positive you’ll smash it!!! Xx

    • kerrylifeandloves
      March 12, 2018 / 11:57 pm

      Hahaha Louise. I know! I cant even blame alcohol for it! I will certainly try hard, I just hope the body is as willing as the mind…….lol Thanks for reading, and your faith in me xxxx

  4. March 13, 2018 / 3:40 pm

    Wow – good on you for this big challenge and all the very best for the training xx

    • kerrylifeandloves
      March 13, 2018 / 3:54 pm

      Ahhh thank you so much Kirsty xx. We have a meeting this week to discuss training. I need all the help I can get hahaha xx Thanks for your well wishes xx

  5. March 13, 2018 / 6:00 pm

    Go Kerry! Oh that’s gonna be amazing good for you! Cannot wait to hear (read) all about it!! I think you guys are amazing considering everything you’ve been going through! Good luck guys!! ☺
    Heather xx

    • kerrylifeandloves
      March 13, 2018 / 6:31 pm

      Ahhh Heather thank you so much! It feels like its a really positive thing to focus on. We have a meet up this week to try to get a training plan devised. Its on! Thank you so much for popping over xxxx

  6. March 13, 2018 / 6:35 pm

    That’s absolutely amazing🙆‍♀️Go you and your amazing family😚I can’t wait to hear all about the prep and everything😚😚xxxx

    • kerrylifeandloves
      March 13, 2018 / 6:38 pm

      I cant actually believe I agreed to it ha ha. It feels incredibly positive and Im excited though. We have a training plan being devised this week, so hopefully we will be well prepared. Eek! Thank you for your support xxxx

  7. March 13, 2018 / 6:54 pm

    How exciting Kerry. This is the first time I’ve seen your blog, but I’ll look forward to reading your progress.

    It sounds like you’ve had a rotten time so I admire you for committing to anything, let alone something out if your comfort zone!

    • kerrylifeandloves
      March 13, 2018 / 7:05 pm

      Ohhh wow, thank you so very much for your kind words. Im so glad you found me! When we agreed to the climb, I thought I was having a mental moment, but actually, it has given us an incredibly positive focus. It feels good! I wonder if I will be saying that the day after the climb ha ha ha. Its been a tough time, but, people go through worse so we keep grateful and positive xx. Thank you so very much for popping over and reading, its very much appreciated xxx

  8. Janis
    March 13, 2018 / 7:22 pm

    Well you certainly don’t do things by half do you Kerry! Good luck to you all and I look forward to reading about your progress along the way. x

    • kerrylifeandloves
      March 13, 2018 / 8:47 pm

      Ha ha ha Janis. You know me, go large or go home….. Its just a big hill, right?????? Thank you for the good wishes xxxx I will be sure to keep everyone updated x

  9. Nesha
    March 13, 2018 / 11:06 pm

    I can’t deal with this information 😮🤔

    • kerrylifeandloves
      March 13, 2018 / 11:29 pm

      Ha ha Ha Ha! I know, I know. Take a few days, let it slowly sink in. Ya girls going up the mountain! (as long as I have an oxygen tank, someone towing me and lots of sugary snacks for the journey) ….

  10. March 14, 2018 / 9:20 am

    Good luck & I hope your training goes well! 😊
    My challenge right now is to do as many things on my 25 things to do before turning 25 list as possible! That includes completing a web development course. I have never learned to code, but now I know HTML, CSS & JavaScript. I think it is great to set yourself challenges to try something new!

    • kerrylifeandloves
      March 14, 2018 / 3:28 pm

      Oh wow, im impressed with your coding knowledge! Its still all a foreign language to me haha. I totally agree with you, trying new things all adds to the rich tapestry of life! Thank you so much for stopping by xxx

  11. Lise
    March 14, 2018 / 9:33 am

    Best of luck to you, Kerry! I don’t envy you, but I do hope you’ll be able to reach the top! x

    • kerrylifeandloves
      March 14, 2018 / 3:30 pm

      Ha ha ha ha, me too! Im sure with our training schedule in place, determination and supporting each other we will get there. Thank you for your support xxx

  12. Susanne
    March 14, 2018 / 10:32 am

    Is this actual CLIMBING or is it walking up a hill?? I see K2 documentaries in front of me, lol… I’m definitely not one who would walk in risky areas, I’m not a heights person so I want safety fences and stuff but I’d love to do a nice hike some time. We tried one in Italy that was supposed to be “easy” but had to turn back because the path just started to slope way too much and it was far above the creek and I started to freak out. After that I don’t know what to think of Italian walking routes, there are so many lovely places there and I want to go to photograph waterfalls but I don’t know if I can get there if I have to risk my life.
    But I just heard of a lovely place in Donegal or if it was Mayo that seemed like something I could do.
    By the way, you know that Ben Nevis has a whisky distillery, right? 🙂 It doesn’t seem very active though, maybe they just sell their whisky to companies for blends.

    • kerrylifeandloves
      March 14, 2018 / 3:34 pm

      Well I have to confess, I am scared of heights too ha ha. Its a mixture of walking and climbing if we take the harder route, which is what we are planning. It should take us about 4/5 hours going up, 3 hours coming down. I totally get what you say about all the gorgeous places available to see if only we will walk the walks. I hate being in a car going up a mountain path, but I long for the views….! I think I may need to investigate this little gem of information you have given. I feel in the interest of supporting their tourism, I must visit the distillery…… ha. Thank you so much for stopping by, very much appreciated xx

  13. March 14, 2018 / 10:32 am

    I think this is a great challenge to get you moving. The four of you will be talking, laughing, taking pictures and creating memories. Plus a blog post in there too. You are rocking this!

    • kerrylifeandloves
      March 14, 2018 / 3:36 pm

      I hope you are right! I am actually looking forward to it. I think that it will be incredibly good for us. I adore my sis in law, and obviously my husband, so am excited to share it with them x Thank you for your encouragement xxx

  14. March 14, 2018 / 11:46 am

    Wishing you so much luck, lovely! This is such a great challenge and something I’d love to do myself. I hope your training goes well and I’m looking forward to reading about it all!

    Samantha |

    • kerrylifeandloves
      March 14, 2018 / 3:37 pm

      Thank you so much! I think once we have a training plan in place, and know what we are aiming for, we will be on it like a car bonnet. Im excited. Thank you so much for your well wishes, I really appreciate it x

  15. March 14, 2018 / 1:44 pm

    Challenges are always good for you because pushing yourself is kind of therapeutic.

    • kerrylifeandloves
      March 14, 2018 / 3:38 pm

      Hi, thank you for visiting. Yes I think they are incredibly positive for our mental health, totally agree with you. Im thinking the views from the top could be just amazing too! Thank you for taking the time to comment x

  16. March 14, 2018 / 5:53 pm

    Omg yes Kerry, Go you!! That’s absolutely amazing, I’m so proud of you. What a way to challenge yourself, you’ve got this! I think setting challenges definitely helps with mental health. My mental health is always worse when i’m feeling complacent or like I have nothing to take on xx

    • kerrylifeandloves
      March 14, 2018 / 10:37 pm

      Thank you so much! Im actually excited about it! Scotland is meant to be amazingly beautiful too, so Im looking forward to seeing it. I think Im like you, I need challenges to keep me moving forward. I have a curious mind that needs stretching. Lets hope the training goes well ha ha ha thank you so much for your faith in me xxx lol

  17. March 15, 2018 / 11:35 am

    Kerry, Go Girl!!!!! This is fantastic and will be an amazing achievement.
    I have visions of you being a cross between Lara Croft, Wonder Woman and Nell McAndrew !!! You will absolutely smash it.
    Good luck with the training, and as we say when we run, it’s only a hill if you look up!!
    Have a great day,

    • kerrylifeandloves
      March 15, 2018 / 12:42 pm

      Ohhhh Liz, I love that saying, “Its only a hill if you look up”, Im going to chant that to myself ha ha. I will embrace my inner wonder woman too, when I was young I was obsessed with her. I wrote to Jim’ll Fix it a million times (perhaps a good thing that didnt work out) Thank you for reading xxx

  18. March 15, 2018 / 1:17 pm

    Wow! What an amazing goal! I look forward to continuing to read about your journey 🙂

    • kerrylifeandloves
      March 15, 2018 / 2:34 pm

      Oh thank you so much! I hope I don’t disappoint ha ha x Thank you for stopping by x

  19. Amy
    March 17, 2018 / 2:35 pm

    OH my goodness this sounds amazing! I am so happy for you to have this beautiful opportunity in your life! I’m tossing it around in my own head… it would be good for our household to take something like that on! What a fun post!

    • kerrylifeandloves
      March 17, 2018 / 4:04 pm

      Hi, thank you so much for stopping by. Its a great thing to focus on isnt it, and I know we will feel amazing when we reach the top. A yearly challenge is an incredibly bonding experience for a household too, we are even planning something to do with our sons. Id love to hear if you end up doing something. Thanks for reading x

  20. April 4, 2018 / 9:54 am

    Wow! I am so impressed, Kerry. I think beating cancer is a huge challenge in itself. But then I read your list of other challenges you’ve tackled and I am doubly impressed. Skydiving, for example, has long been something I’ve used as an example of something I’d “like to HAVE DONE,”. Not something I’d actually do “ (thank you very much). Best of luck on the hike. That’s much more my style. Living in the midst of Vermont’s Green Mountsins, I’ve gotten quite a few in. Camels Hump was my last (got 12 posts out of the descent, too). And congratulations to your husband as he finishes a very difficult journey.

    • kerrylifeandloves
      April 4, 2018 / 11:12 am

      Thank you so much Janet, he is my hero for sure. His attitude has been remarkable throughout. Oh wow, how beautiful it must be where you live? I would love to live by mountains, I love what nature shows us and I imagine you see it all in the mountains. Beautiful. Sky diving is amazing and I would do it again. you should do it! Thank you so much for reading, much appreciated xx

  21. May 25, 2018 / 8:35 pm

    I can’t believe I hadn’t seen this post! I just love how positive your whole family is and it’s so lovely that you all pull together when times are rough. I can’t wait to watch your son whip you all into shape haha! And pleeease take lots of pretty pictures on the way up, even if it takes you 3 days xx

    • kerrylifeandloves
      May 25, 2018 / 8:52 pm

      Hahahaha! It probably will take me 3 days! Its going to be a tough one I think, but the sense of achievement will be worth it, as will the views as we go up apparently. I think our son will be kicking our butts! Thank you for reading lovely xx,

  22. Laura
    August 7, 2018 / 3:21 am

    Well this was a great read. Go you!!! You can definitely do it. My advice, although it will be an unpopular one is to drink less alcohol, drink more water, and simply just walk. You don’t have to be a cardio queen to get better at climbing mountains. I don’t think so anyway haha. Walking does you just as much good as running does. I know you’ll both do it 🙂 xxxx

    • kerrylifeandloves
      August 7, 2018 / 7:41 am

      Thank you lovely xx Im getting so nervous now! I just dont want to fail. Im trying to get a few walks in before we leave. Im not worried about the distance, its the constant up hill! Im sure all will be fine….

    • kerrylifeandloves
      August 19, 2018 / 10:12 pm

      Hmmm, I will let you know if it was adventure, or madness! 🙂
      Thank you for reading xx

  23. OurFour Suitcases
    August 20, 2018 / 10:14 am

    What amazing spirit! Your fam rocks! I had a great chuckle reading your post and this part “It takes the average climber 4-5 hours to climb up (so thats about 2 days for me then)” …yeah, that’s me, too! 🙂

    • kerrylifeandloves
      August 20, 2018 / 10:31 am

      Oh thank you so much! We try to live life positivley, thats all you can do isnt it! I keep visualising mountain rescue having to come and pick me up as iv got lost or my joints have seized up! Oh well, its an adventure……..haha xx Thank you for reading xx

      • OurFour Suitcases
        August 20, 2018 / 4:28 pm

        lol@mountain rescue ..looking forward to the post of the journey

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