Eat, sleep, paddle, pick up litter and repeat

This July, Jo Moseley is paddleboarding 162 miles on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal along the Desmond Family Canoe Trail.

Jo Moseley Jo Moseley, paddleboarding

Jo very kindly took some time out of her training to chat to us about her upcoming adventure.

What inspired you to take on the challenge?

All sorts of ideas and dreams came together to create #PaddleboardTheNorth. I wanted to do something during my summer holidays that made a difference to the problems of plastic pollution. 

I had learned that 80% of the plastic pollution found on the beaches comes from inland sources, with 14 million pieces of plastic in our canals and waterways. 

I also wanted to have an adventure close to home that would be unique and allow me to explore new places.

"I love paddleboarding and know how much the water helps my own wellbeing, physical, mental and emotional"

Jo Moseley

I have been doing a #2MinuteBeachClean or litter pick every day for over 18 months now and know how much I enjoy it, so doing something on a bigger scale sounded great fun.

So, looking at all these things together, paddleboarding (almost) coast to coast along the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and Aire & Calder Navigation and doing my daily litter pick seemed like a fab idea and ticked all the boxes.

How did you get into paddle boarding?

I had injured my knee and was reading how great paddleboarding is for strengthening your core and regaining fitness without the impact of running for example. I also wanted to learn to surf, but knew I wasn’t strong or flexible enough. So SUP seemed to be a brilliant way forward. That was 2016 and I’ve never looked back.

How have you managed to fit training in between working and managing a busy family life?

Ah, great question. I’ve simply squeezed it in when I could and cut back temporarily on some of my other commitments, social life and volunteering. 

I’m really lucky to have a brilliant local leisure centre (I teach water fitness there myself alongside my day job) where there are so many fab classes. So I can do spin cycle at 6.25am and yoga or kettlebells in the evening. They are wonderful and so popular you have to book in advance. I book a week ahead and then don’t have to decide if I’m going to train, I just have to turn up and do it.

Also, I love paddleboarding for the mental and emotional wellbeing it brings to me, so it’s a joy to train.  

Jo Moseley Jo Moseley

We would love to know more about your two minute daily litter pick

Thank you. I love doing a litter pick and in January 2018, after Sir David Attenborough’s wonderful series Blue Planet 2 was aired, I decided to set myself a goal to do a litter pick every day for a year wherever I was. 

So that could be on the beach at the weekends, on my way to work in town, running in the hills (plogging - picking up litter and jogging) and now from my paddleboard on the canals. 

It brings me a real joy. I feel I am in some small way making a difference to the places I love and I’ve made lots of friends through it. 

What will motivate you to keep on paddling those 162 miles?

Exploring Merseyside, Lancashire and Yorkshire from a different perspective will be brilliant. I’m looking forward to taking the time to notice nature around me and live in the moment. 

I have friends that will be joining me on the route, which I am looking forward to - one is coming all the way from Essex.

It might sound funny to some people, but as a busy middle-aged mum, only having to focus on four things for 162 miles will be amazing.

Those four are: eat, sleep, paddle, pick up litter and repeat. If I just keep doing that day after day, I’ll hopefully be fine.

Last date edited: 31 July 2019