What I learned from walking Hadrian’s Wall

Mickey Rogers Hadrian's Wall

I’ve just finished five days of walking Hadrian’s Wall. It was built by the Roman emperor Hadrian to keep the barbarians out of Britain. Well, that was the idea. Some say it was a vanity project but it was certainly built to last.

The wall stretches across the northern part of Britain – about 73 miles in total. Parts of it are still in tact while others have been dismantled, and you can see stones that have been pilfered in churches and houses along the way.

The wall encompassed all types of landscape – from very steep, rocky crags to lovely pastoral, wild flower fields. During my walk the days sometimes felt incredibly long after doing 10 miles and other days were so invigorating I could have walked forever.

Here are three insights I had while walking the wall.

Keep going no matter what you’re faced with

Some points along the path were incredibly steep with slippery stones. The temptation was to stop, but stopping meant losing momentum and courage. I had to carefully pick my way to the bottom and strategically look for support. Stopping was not an option. I liken this to projects. At certain times you have to reassess your strategy. Stopping and starting can really knock the wind out of your sails.

Have a plan and use technology

At times, the sign posts weren’t as clear so it was easy to get lost, especially making my way to the destination. It was extremely useful to have an overview of where we were headed, aided and abetted by GPS. Again, a strategic plan for every project with specific goals is useful for staying on track. You may need to make adjustments going over or under obstacles but the goal is always in sight.

Enjoy the process and celebrate successes

It was challenging to really appreciate the incredible beauty that was all around since I was intent on maintaining my pace and ensuring I didn’t tumble down the inclines. It reminded me of how I sometimes have my head down on a project and can’t appreciate how far I’ve come. There is nothing like a celebration at mid points to encourage and motivate.

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