Lockdown compelled many people to make positive changes in their life but one man was inspired to walk Wales for charity.

This is the story of a 50-year-old man who lost his job, sold his house and walked the whole stretch of the Offa’s Dyke Path.

Remember those dark days of lockdown when every day felt like groundhog day, and life didn’t feel like it was moving anywhere quickly?

Jon Moss from Cardiff refused to let lockdown get the better of him. Like so many others who needed to feel better after being made redundant during the pandemic, he walked.

And there are plenty of health benefits to walking.

Deciding to make a radical change, he didn’t just opt for a stroll around the block like most of us. But that wasn’t enough. Instead, he took a Forest Gump approach to life. No not a box of chocolates. He and just kept going.

Moss felt compelled to walk Wales so sold his home and set out with a rucksack to walk the whole 177 miles of Offa’s Dyke path which stretches across the entire Welsh/English border. 

When asked about his motivation for making such a radical move, Moss said that he needed to make a change, or he’d have stayed in that house until he was ‘a fat 60-year-old wondering what to do’. Surprisingly, the Stamp Duty holiday wasn’t mentioned.

Moss began his adventure on June 27th, on the coastal path that would eventually lead him back home to Cardiff in three months’ time, where only a camper van awaited him. 

Through the callouses, fatigue and technical homelessness, Moss’s biggest quibble centred around the slugs that crept over him at night, claiming that he woke up one morning with a slug on his eye.

Walking for Suicide Prevention

In all seriousness, while we joke about molluscs and mobile homes, walking is a great remedy for depression and anxiety. A state-enforced lockdown and redundancy is enough to tip anyone’s mental health the wrong way, but walking helped Jon Moss keep his head above water.

After turning 50, and envisioning his life taking a turn for the worse, Moss is an advocate of walking to get back on track – pardon the pun. He says:

“These middle-aged men who are lonely and committing suicide – I’ll tell everybody – just get up and walk – it just fills the day.” 

As well as giving you something to focus on, walking is known to be one of the best exercises for improving your mental health. Walking For Health lists the mental benefits of walking, which include:

Fancy trying Offa’s Dyke for yourself? Find full route information here. Don’t worry, you don’t need to do the full 177 miles, but most trails are upwards of 10 miles. Just remember to claim your Sweatcoins for your steps!