PAWA Great Wall Trekker, Clare Muhiudeen, tells us about her motivation for taking on this challenging adventure to raise money for PAWA’s charities educating girls across Asia.
I am Malaysian, educated in London and living/working in Hong Kong. I got to know about PAWA in the early days of its establishment through PAWA Chair Zehan and co-founder Betty. I moved to HK just as PAWA was building up and have always tried to support from afar!
I heard about the Great Wall trek from the PAWA website… and since it’s just across the way from Hong Kong, thought “Well, at least I won’t be jet lagged!’.
Having done a personal challenge for PAWA before (a sea swim of 2.2k in Hong Kong waters), I find it motivating to give via a goal. I have been to the Great Wall before but this is will be a totally unique experience, something I would never have signed up for if it was not for PAWA and all the good that will come from the sponsorship I am able to raise.
Training for the Great Wall Trek
I have an international role which means I travel all the time but walking through airports is not enough to get me fit for this 7 day hike over rough terrain!
So a few months ago, I started to try and increase the duration and intensity of my preparation – I have tried to ensure I walk 3-5 days in a week; sometimes for 30 mins, sometimes for a couple of hours.
I have been walking home from the office where I am based in Hong Kong, which is a 45 minute walk UPHILL! When I visit our London office, I make sure I walk up the escalators in Holborn station – it’s a long way up and pretty steep. At weekends, I walk either on the HILL setting on a treadmill if it is too hot outside or I get outdoors for a trail walk in Hong Kong’s country parks.
The terrain on the Great Wall will be steep and include lots of stone steps going up and down not just to access the wall but along the rugged route itself. My Pilates teacher (also from Malaysia) has also got involved with my fitness training – she totally focused on strengthening my ankles and knees for all those steps up and down the Great Wall!
Excitement – and also trepidation
I am very excited to have this opportunity to walk in a country and a structure that has so much history. I am looking forward to spending quality time and this unique experience with my dear friend Zehan, one of my Great Wall team-mates. And it’s going to be exciting to challenging myself with this long distance trek.
I have to admit, I am quite daunted by the physical challenge, especially day after day for 7 DAYS!
A worthwhile purpose supporting girls’ education
But despite that, I want to do this trek to raise funds and awareness of all the good that PAWA does through the charities that PAWA supports. Every girl, every child, should have the opportunity to make the most of life. To help even just one girl is a small step but a step in the right direction. I have been so humbled by the support and contributions from friends and colleagues – I am determined to finish without mishap!
Please support PAWA’s good work by donating to the PAWA Great Wall Trek via my Justgiving page at ttp://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/clareMuhiudeen
Photos: thanks to Clare Muhiudeen
Clare Muhiudeen is Head of Human Capital and Benefits, International at Willis Towers Watson, Hong Kong. She is a PAWA Founding Charter Member and a PAWA Champion.
PAWA is focused on a single purpose: To support teenage girls education in Asia. In 2016, we supported 2,367 girls in 8 projects across 7 countries. Educate a Girl, Change a Life. Support Clare and PAWA’s work by donating to PAWA’s Great Wall Trek via the link below:
Keep on trekking, Clare: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/clareMuhiudeen