Health · lifestyle · travel

I am not What Happened to Me, I am What I Choose to Become … Trekfest 2017

In September this year me and my husband Phil did Trekfest, The Peaks 25km challenge. Which is basically a trek through the Peak District over 25km or 50km … I hold my hands up now to all the 50km trekkers, you are all amazing and very fit to complete that!!
I decided this year I wanted to raise some money for Women’s Aid, a charity very close to my heart. Some of you may know from my previous post that I have experienced domestic violence when I was younger, but I also know others that have been through extreme domestic violence themselves or have watched a parent go through it and experienced it as children. Seeing and understanding how going through abuse can change your whole life and every decision you make even when it’s over, and seeing the devastation it leaves physically and mentally, I knew I needed to do something to try to help this amazing charity and the women and children it protects.
Although my abuse ended more than 10 years ago I still suffer daily. The bruises fade, the scars still shine on my skin but they are not as noticeable, it’s easy for people to forget what you have experienced and the main scars are not on the skin but in the mind. This is what I suffer with and this is also one of the reasons I wanted to do this Trek, I wanted some closure for what I went through because I know it can’t be in vain that I suffered. I want to help women who are still suffering and show them they too can get out.

We tortured all out family and friends for months to sponsor us and we bought all the kit. The Trek soon flew round and out of nowhere it was the day … now I will admit I didn’t train properly and I regretted that up on the peaks! We set off and enjoyed the scenery and excitement of the starting line. We chatted and laughed … until the first peak … this is where the training would have come in useful. Phil is very fit and he sailed up, but I struggled. When this was over I started enjoying it again, we made the first check point and it was a nice experience, recording our time, stocking up on water, fruit and snack bars. We also met some other trekkers who we walked the next 2 hours with.


Up and down the peaks we went, it was extremely hard work but we did it. Then we hit the worst part of the trek, it was downhill and rocky, hard to stay upright and very physically challenging. Our toes took a battering and we passed a few people who dropped out at this point.


We finally made it to the last check point and with 18km behind us we set off for the home straight. Now this sounds like the worst was over but this was the start of a very emotional time for me. At this point I was very tired, every muscle in my body was aching and my feet were very sore and bruised. But on top of this I was emotionally exhausted. In my mind, I had a lot riding on this day, walking over the finish line and feeling relief not only from the trek but from my memories … it wasn’t that easy. I completely underestimated the trek and how hard it would be on my body but also on my mind. Bringing back all the memories and feeling my body hurt again was hard and the last 7km I really struggled. I didn’t talk, I cried most of the way unable to control my emotions and I wanted to give up. Phil was next to me every step of the way helping me, talking me through, reminding me who I was doing it for. He carried my bag and his bag the last 3km to take some weight off and held my hand the whole way. This last sentence fully describes what he’s done for me the last 10years … he’s taken the weight off, he’s kept me going, held me up and throughout it all he’s held my hand. I couldn’t have got through that trek without Phil and I couldn’t have got through the last 10years without him either.

At 6 hours and 40 minutes we crossed the finish line and we had done it. To some this wouldn’t be such a challenge but to me it was … I felt proud… I also felt pain!
It was an honour to wear our pink t-shirts and push ourselves for women’s aid and the amazing work this charity does. The Trek was worth every second of pain and emotion if we helped even one woman feel safe. We raised just under £800 and our team of two Team Milburn is in 1st place on the everyday hero, women’s aid website which makes us even more proud.


If anyone would like to raise money for women’s aid please email or visit their website at
So, are we planning another fundraiser for next year? Definitely … are we doing another Trek? Definitely not! Thank you too all our friends and family that sponsored and supported us, you all made a massive difference.


I just want to write a quick note to Phil … I’m sorry for the Manda on the peaks (at the end of the peaks anyway) she lost her shit, sorry.
Manda xx

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