“I want to solo walk 3,000km down the length of New Zealand to show that self-doubt doesn’t have to hold us back from achieving something incredible or something we never thought we could do”
Katrina Megget (37) is tying up her boot laces, ready to solo trek 3,000km (1,864 miles) down the length of New Zealand in aid of two mental health charities and to prove that self-doubt and low self-esteem, which can be linked to mental health problems, don’t have to hold us back from achieving our goals and dreams.
Katrina, who is originally from New Zealand but who has lived in London for 12 years, has spent the past three years telling herself she wasn’t good enough to walk New Zealand’s Te Araroa trail, a relatively new long-distance walking route that takes on sandy beaches, native forests, raging rivers and wild mountains. However, the freelance healthcare journalist and adventure writer realised her self-doubt was holding her back and wanted to challenge this negative belief, committing to start #WalkNZ on 5 November 2018. Besides #WalkNZ, Katrina is also attempting to climb 40 volcanoes by the age of 40.
“A private battle”
Having suffered from self-doubt since her school days, alongside bouts of low self-esteem, Katrina wants to raise awareness of these rarely-talked-about afflictions, which in the age of social media are reportedly becoming more commonplace. While not mental health problems per se, both are linked to mental health problems.
Katrina hopes to inspire other people to tackle their self-doubt to take on and achieve their own dreams and goals.
In aid of this, Katrina is raising money for two mental health charities, the UK’s Mind and the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand, to help support people who may have self-doubt and low self-esteem-related mental health problems.
Katrina said: “Suffering from self-doubt is a private battle. It’s lonely and depressing, and sucks you of your self-esteem and confidence, and can be the start of the downward spiral to mental health problems.
“Self-doubt has tampered with my life but, on reflection, I’ve come to realise that that I’m not actually useless; I just think I am. I want to solo walk 3,000km down the length of New Zealand to show that self-doubt doesn’t have to hold us back from achieving something incredible or something we never thought we could do.
“Knowing how much of a bully I have been to myself over the years, I don’t want others to feel the same way, which is why I am also fundraising for Mind in the UK and the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand. This money will help support others who may have mental health problems arising from self-doubt and low self-esteem.”
Katrina’s #WalkNZ challenge will take five to six months starting on 5 Nov 2018 from Cape Reinga at the top of the North Island and ending in Bluff 3,000km later at the bottom of the South Island. Katrina will walk along golden sand beaches, farmland, ancient native forests, over mountains and volcanic plains, across bridgeless rivers and through bustling cities and small lonely settlements. There will also be miles of road walking between trail heads.
Katrina, who leaves for New Zealand on 7 October, will often be walking for an average of five days through wild country between resupply points, carrying everything she needs in her backpack, including a tent and food, and sourcing water en route. She will likely battle temperamental weather extremes, flooded rivers and high tides. This trek will be as much a mental challenge as a physical challenge as Katrina faces hardships that will test her patience and resilience, where she will continually question whether she will be good enough to complete the adventure.
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To support Katrina’s challenge by donating, please visit her fundraising pages at JustGiving for Mind https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/katrinamegget and The Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand https://events.mentalhealth.org.nz/fundraisers/katrinamegget/katrina–s-walk-new-zealand .
Header image: Routeburn Track, South Island, New Zealand © Katrina Megget