Some of us talk about helping those in need. Others act. A few walk the talk – humanitarian aid workers, Good Will Ambassadors and a rare group of slightly mad alternative solution finders. Anna is one of those.

Read about how Anna does good – step by step. By walking 100 km she is encouraging you to support the Red Cross.

Walk The Talk: How Action Speaks Louder Than Words

The recent earthquake in central Italy is but one example where the work of the International Federation of the Red Cross saved lives, and continues to support those who lost so much. Will you walk the talk too?

The GOODista’s motto is: Feel, Be and Do Good as our loyal readers know. We are proud to have Anna guest blog about her decision to make a difference, and how it has changed her outlook. 

Walk The Talk: 100 km walk to support the Red Cross.

Walk The Talk – Donate!

She feels good, by doing good and as a direct result of her training she is being good to herself too. By changing lives one step at a time. Every penny she collects through ‘Just Giving‘ goes directly to the Red Cross.

Now she needs you to not talk – but act. Your donation to Anna’s walk will do directly to the Red Cross.

You too can walk the talk – with her.  Read, and donate your lunch money to this 100 km walk that changes lives – one step and one cent at a time. 

Thank you Anna – The GOODista team donated to the walk for The Red Cross. We hope our readers do too! 

Walk The Talk: 100 km Walk. Madness or What?

By Anna Palmgren-Houel

Earlier this year, I made the decision to participate in a 100 kilometre walking challenge with a group of friends. What was originally intended as a combination of fun and an opportunity to raise money for people less lucky in life, quickly developed into something more.

“Nine kilometres left…. Just another hill to climb…Five kilometres left… At least the scenery is magnificent…Please dear legs make a last painstaking effort….”  

This person motivating herself was me a couple of days ago when I was out on my 40 kilometre walk preparing for the 100 kilometre “Thames Path Walk”.Walk The Talk: 100 km walk to support the Red Cross.

Until then I had done many walks but never over 23k. However, according to Sarah, the super motivated initiator of the challenge, you need to generate “muscle memory” of at least 40 kilometres to be able to achieve 50 kilometres two days in a row. 

Walk The Talk: The Power of Concrete and Stretching End Goal

So, here I was doing the long distance on my own. The first 30 kilometres were hard but nothing compared to the final ten. 

Walk The Talk: 100 km walk to support the Red Cross.

Step by Step…

My entire body – Yes! walking impacts almost all of your muscles – was aching and I wanted to stop and call my husband Arnaud so he could pick me up. Even my shoes were begging me to stop.

However, a little voice in my head kept reminding me that I had to do the full distance. Impossible to quit! The fact that I had a very concrete objective with a fixed date helped to stay focused on the task at hand. 

SMART Objectives

In fact, ever since I started walking in April, that end goal has been present as a guiding light. Most days I have walked the seven kilometres back and forth to my office. The days when it has been pouring down, the 100k challenge has prevented me from driving or taking the bus.

The impact of SMART objectives is of course nothing new.  Recently a very talented individual in my team said “Thank you for re-setting my objectives. Finally I know exactly what I need to focus on to make a difference”.

Walk The Talk: How You Can Too…

When I first set up my fundraising page on Just Giving, I felt really good about myself. 

I was encouraging friends and family to donate money for a great cause enabling The Red Cross to help people in need around the world. After the earthquake in Italy last week, we can all rest assured that another disaster is waiting around the corner. 

Walk The Talk 100 km Walk to Aid The Red Cross Amatrice Earthquake

Amatrice Earthquake Photo Credit: Antonio Nardelli /

At first, I was a bit surprised by the reluctance to donate money.  In hindsight I guess I was very naïve thinking that by posting on Facebook people would literally rush to my charity page. Many talk about doing something when they read about disasters, and see news broadcasts. Very few actually do.

Walk the Talk 100 km Walk for Charity

Anna Walks the Talk

As a Swede it didn’t come naturally to raise money for charity. It is a given part of society in the US and in UK. I know however that action speak louder than words. People do think about those in need. Some do more than just think. My fundraising page on Just Giving for the Red Cross is starting to get some traction.

I believe my walk will make a difference. It has already to me.

It matters so much to those that are less fortunate in life. I thank you in advance for walking the talk – with me. 

Tip: Click to DONATE HERE 

Walk The Talk: Impact on Body, Mind and Spirit

Finally we get to the reason asked me to write this article in the first place.  What has this challenge given me beyond my initial intentions? 

  • Feel Good: Since I started in April, I have walked approximately 600 kilometres. Even though I am aware of the positive effects of psychical effort on your overall state of wellbeing, I am still astonished by the results!
  • Be Good: Prior to commencing the walking malarkey I had suffered from a frozen shoulder for almost a year. It was finally treated by a specialist but I hadn’t done any sports for a long time. The walking gradually gave me my energy back and I arrived vitalised to the office in the mornings. I also started taking yoga classes that has transformed my breathing techniques. The two initiatives together have dramatically reduced my stress levels, made me more focused and energised. 
  • Do Good:
    Walk The Talk: 100 km walk to support the Red Cross.

    Walk The Talk – Donate!

    The knowledge that each step can make a difference to someone in need is a driving force that keeps me walking.

    I know I can walk for 100 km – and if you donate even just a little bit – the journey will lighter. I will be thinking about those that you helped save too!

    Thank You!

The GOODista spurs you on, Anna! And as Lao Tzu once said: 

The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.

Anna Palmgren-Houel and her family, Arnaud and Ines, currently lives in London. If it wasn’t for the love of food, Anna would be very fit… She is a Swedish born lady with ants in her pants and an obsession for perfection. Be it transforming how to go about stuff within her professional life, driving her French husband Arnaud nuts by spending three months finding a wood floor producer that can match the wood tile she found for the bathrooms, perfecting the recipe for sticky toffee pudding (it is very good at this stage…) or whatever the next thing around the corner that can be exciting or important. Right now – It’s walking… for 100 k for the Red Cross. 

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