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Scafell Pike walk for The Cyber Helpline

Author: Mary-Anne Calora

I’m Mary-Anne, Creative Lead for th4ts3cur1ty.company. One of my job roles is to make/create and post content for th4ts3cur1ty and our subsidiary, PocketSIEM. So of course my initial thoughts when my boss, Eliza, mentioned doing a sponsored walk was “Great, I am always up for the challenge and I can take pics for our social media”. I had actually forgotten that I hate walking. I’m also deeply terrified of bugs, more of a city person and the list goes on. I had completed my Gold Duke of Edinburgh award in 2017, I also struggled then and that was 6 years ago, pre lockdown and with better cardiovascular fitness. But my FOMO (fear of missing out) wasn’t going to stop me and it was only 1 day of walking. Easy right? Wrong.

I wasn’t going to let the team down, I work for a cyber security company and we wanted to support this charity that helps victims of online cybercrime; this is exactly what my colleagues and strangers I’ve met throughout my cyber security career do it for. Yes, many people are massive nerds and have the brains for this field but at the end of the day it’s to help people. A sponsored walk for The Cyber Helpline is our chance to help individuals and sole traders, who might not have the cyber security funds and/or knowledge on what to do, and may need advice on things that are a cyber security expert’s bread and butter…

The day itself

As you can guess, I’m not one for this sort of stuff, so finding out camping was an option was of course not a surprise but also a hell no. I took my dad along for the ride as he had done the walk before and was extremely eager. The 3am wake-up call to do a 4-hour drive was the preferred option for me.

When near the Lake District the route was extremely scenic. You were driving pretty much directly next to the lake, you could see the mountains in the distance and sometimes passed a few of the local population (100% sheep). Beautiful. Almost forgot what I was actually there for. 

As the walk itself started, I was feeling super optimistic! We were joined by cyber security professionals and avid walkers, off to a great start. Then came the rocks. It was either slippy or feeling like you were walking barefoot on glass. I hated myself and had to remind myself why I was doing this. I volunteered to stay at the back but honestly, even if I hadn’t, I would have been there anyway. It felt like my legs had started to give in and I was walking extremely slow. We even had a guy (shoutout to Steve) who made it ¾ of the way up with broken bones and recent surgery, that is proper determination. Got to the top probably 2 hours later than everybody else because I was feeling sorry for myself the entire time up, and couldn’t believe I actually had the stamina to make it the entire way. I was at the top for about 5 minutes as I couldn’t wait to go back down to flat ground and civilisation. Thought going down would be the easy part. Wrong… again.

It started throwing it down, never felt such strong raindrops. Of course, I had to be at the rockiest part when that happened, so every step there was either an unstable piece of rock or a slippy one. Perfect opportunity to fall over. I started feeling pain in my hips, which was also new. My dad was basically my carer at that point. Anyway, let’s skip the next 3 hours and also the part where we took the wrong way down and had to walk an extra 40 minutes back to the village.

The pub! Made it all seem worth it. Was it worth it though? Yes for many reasons. I climbed a mountain I will never climb again even if you had paid me, but we had raised £585.68 for The Cyber Helpline. Worth not being able to walk for 2 days after.

I still don’t like walking, but I heard talks of another charity walk in the future and will I do it? Maybe, probably. Not without moaning of course.

Thanks to th4ts3cur1ty.company who provided our lunch and dinner, even prosecco for when we got to the top. But not going to lie, I’ve not even drank it yet.

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