As I slowly crept towards my 30th birthday, I often thought: ‘What have I achieved in my life?’ The answer was usually quite mixed. This year I wanted that answer to be different, I decided this is the year I wanted to get fit, get out of my comfort zone and give something back.

It was actually at work that I saw the Monc Blanc challenge for Mencap advertised, and it was like fate, here in front of me was an opportunity for me to get fit, and help others in the process! I decided I needed to get out there and push myself to do more, I couldn’t keep plodding along, I was going to have to stop treading water and do something.

Since this epiphany at the beginning of the year, I’ve signed up for a further two 10K’s and the Royal London Half Marathon!

Now, I haven’t trekked before, so after it sunk in that’d I’d actually signed up for the challenge, I’ll be honest, I was quite terrified. However, once I began to train I really started to enjoy it, as did my dog Rocky! It was going really well, but to spur me on I decided I needed human companionship for my training, so after many weeks of encouragement, my wonderful friend and co-worker Charlotte also signed up.

Since then we’ve been training together and I've noticed a real difference in my fitness and confidence. We’ve had an incredible time preparing together - We’ve been to the Peak District, Hebden Bridge, Ogden Waters and even over the local viaducts. The only hiccup we’ve had is when Charlotte got caught up in my dog’s lead and took a bit of a tumble, but we laughed that off!

I have to say, if I hadn’t had a buddy encouraging me, my training efforts probably would have gone downhill. She’s also been there to help me out with my kit list, as I purchased the wrong day bag twice! I never knew how important a rucksack could be until I bought the wrong one… twice!

The company I work for have a really good relationship with Mencap, there are a lot of activities that you can get involved in throughout the year. Being honest, before I started working for Vanquis I knew little about the amazing work that Mencap does. The Monc Blanc challenge has been a great opportunity not only to fulfil my own goals, but at the same time contribute to an amazing and worthwhile cause!

There’s not long to go till the trek begins and I feel so lucky to be taking part in such a wonderful adventure!

If you'd like to sponsor me and this great cause, check out my just giving page here!