The Grahams for Graham

By Louise Ballantyne // On August 19, 2018

When I was younger, my Dad used to set off most weekends on a hillwalking adventure. He’s bagged a fair few Scottish mountains, so when we were trying to decide how best to raise money for Maggie’s Centre Fife, I suggested climbing all the Munros. My Dad thought it was a great idea although when we discussed it during his most recent chemo appointment, he said, “It’s a shame you’ll miss some of the smaller hills because they’re sometimes my favourites.” That got us thinking, and it was actually my Mum who suggested we do the Grahams instead.¬†Very quickly, The Grahams for Graham became the letter G of our A to Z for Maggie’s challenge.

I’ve always enjoyed being outdoors; the views from the summit of a Scottish mountain, even the mist, wind and horizontal rain on a typical Scottish day adds to the experience, but recently, with my hip injury, hills have been something I have avoided. In fact, walking is something I have avoided. I think that’s why it seems like a good idea. It’s a challenge, and if it wasn’t, I wouldn’t feel happy asking people to sponsor me to do it. My hip has been great; I have stuck to a rehab plan and taken a step away from the things I was told would aggravate it. Here’s hoping that being sensible for the last six months has worked and I can complete this challenge!

I also want to make this a social challenge, something that others, whether close friends or family or complete strangers can be involved in. The Great Outdoors, in my opinion, offers something that you can’t get elsewhere; a sense of wellbeing, an energy boost, a sense of achievement and a positive outlook. These are things that many of us often lack and I would love to think that by coming out and walking with us for a day, people can learn from it, use it to relax, gain confidence, find the motivation to do something else or improve their fitness by getting involved. We aren’t putting a time on this one; Cancer is probably as unpredictable as the weather and these are just two factors that may cause our plans to change at the last minute and our completion moving further into the future.

There are 219 Grahams in Scotland; spread over the whole country, including 7 of the islands. Grahams are peaks which are between 2000ft/609.6m and 2500ft/762m with a drop of at least 150m between each peak. (SMC, 2018)

The Grahams are found in the most beautiful, scenic, often remote parts of Scotland so not only are we looking to complete them, we want to make the most of the beautiful surroundings too. I will always post on social media when we are going and we would love to have you join us. All we would ask if you’re joining us is that you either make a donation or share our JustGiving page, tell your own friends and family what you’re doing and encourage them to donate.¬† We will make sure we always have a brew kit, banter and everything we need to keep you safe and enjoy your day in the outdoors!

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