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A former Derbyshire coal miner says he felt “relieved” after completing a challenge to walk 13 million steps in a year for his local hospice.
David Cartawick started the 6,500-mile challenge – equivalent to about 36,500 steps a day – at the beginning of 2023.
The 58-year-old, from Chesterfield, has been fundraising for Ashgate Hospice having known multiple friends who have benefited from its care over the years.
He reached his goal 11 days ahead of schedule – and refused to stop until his stepometer hit 13,377,516 before the new year.
David, who works as an instructor at Unit 1 Fitness & Martial Arts, said the fundraiser “involved a lot of sacrifices”.
“It was relentless,” he added. “Some days I walked upwards of 60,000 or 70,000 steps and the minimum I walked was 20,000.
“On average, I’d be spending about six-and-a-half hours a day trying to get my steps in. It was time consuming and all about my mindset and mentality; I just had to break it down a day at a time.
“When I reached the target, I was just relieved to have got to the end unscathed and without injuring myself. I was very lucky in that sense!”
David said he had to eat as many as 6,000 calories per day so he would have enough energy to keep on walking.
Typically, he would attempt to hit 10,000 steps before 10am each morning and would often head out on a long walk in the afternoon.
He even did his best to get as many steps in during the martial arts classes he would teach in the evenings.
David added: “I’ve done quite a lot of things for charity over the past decade including in lockdown when I completed a challenge to walk a million steps in a month.
“I thought I would try see if I could do 13 million in a year. Plenty of people will think I’m bonkers, but I like challenging and pushing myself!
“It was very intense. I tried to play it down in my mind, but deep down I knew it wasn’t going to be easy.
“I was constantly tired and could feel the toll it was taking on my body every day. My legs were under a bit of stress, but it was the feet more than anything – you’ve got to be so careful with your feet.
“Surprisingly, thanks to a good pair of walking shoes and some strong socks, they held up well!”
David, who has so far raised more than £500 towards the hospice’s palliative and end of life care in North Derbyshire, hopes others will support his appeal upon completion of the challenge.
He said: “The hospice is a charity that’s close to everybody’s hearts in the area.
“Even last year, I had two friends who received care in Ashgate, and even though I’ve not had any direct family, we all know somebody who has been there.
“As time goes on, we will know more people who will need the hospice and it’s important that we do what we can locally to ensure it’s there for everyone.”
You can make a donation to Dave’s fundraiser on JustGiving.
Find out more about how you can fundraise for Ashgate Hospice.