Walking away

IMG_1392Loss of hope is a horrible feeling. Sometimes the decisions we have to make are nasty. I had one such yesterday. Lots of you will be familiar with my Janathon exploits from earlier in the year, my attempt to become a ‘proper runner’. Reading them, you’ll understand that I didn’t ever make it to the point of feeling like one, even though I ran. I stopped early when I picked up a rotten cold, and that was that. I promised myself I’d start again when my cough stopped.

A lovely friend has been giving me physio on my leg over the past few months. It has made a great deal of different, and means I’ve thought more about it, and about my pain responses, in the last few months than I have in detail for years. And yesterday, during a great day of exploring and lunching, we chatted. Gently she pointed out to me that running was one of the most stupid things I could do, not so much for my ankle as for my knee and hip, which take more strain anyway. We agreed, there will be no more running. Cycling, yes, so this blog will continue to contain comedy dismounts, but running, no.

But it got worse. We talked about the fact that a short walk along a pebbley beach had induced Pembrokshire 18agony for the next few days. And I said, “but I want to walk the Pembrokeshire Coast Path.” I do, I really do, I’ve been dreaming of it ever since I was about twelve. I didn’t do it in my late teens/twenties because my foot was particularly bad and there were many operations, I didn’t do it though my thirties because of small children, but I really was beginning to wonder if I could make it a reality in the next few years. And my friend looked horrified, and firmly said “NO BEACHES”.  Well, it is mostly cliff top paths and small roads, but half the pleasure is in diverting on to beaches when the tide is right (I’ve walked lots of bits over the years).

This month I’ve been brought face to face with several things I want very much and can’t have. I will walk the Pembrokeshire Coast Path, I’m quite determined about that, but I may walk bits of it, marking them off until I’ve finished. Or take a month over it instead of a fortnight, making sure I care for myself rather than becoming immersed in the goal. Don’t hold your breath.

And I’ll never be a runner. I’ll put my trainers away, and delete my Couch to 5 K app. However much it’s about an adult acknowledging reality, walking away hurts.

5 responses to “Walking away

  1. It’s a hard lesson to learn that we all have our niche.
    I don’t think I excel at anything, but what I do know is, I’m pretty good at most things and that’s good enough for me.
    Actually thats not true and the same applies to you as it does to me.
    We all excel at being ourselves 😉

  2. Feeling for you. I’ve had to walk away from so much I wanted to do, that I now can’t because of chronic illness. Strangely other things do come along, but that’s no comfort now

  3. Really sorry to hear about your disappointment after you put so much effort in and were doing so well. Sounds as though your cold may have saved you from some damage.

    I think that cycling sounds like a very promising alternative though. I don’t know how much of it is cycle-able, but perhaps instead of walking the pembrokeshire coast path you could look into cycling the entire welsh coast path? You might know more about this than I do, but I’ve heard there are companies who will sort your accommodation and transport your luggage along a given cycling route.

    I think that if I were you I’d probably need a bit of time to grieve the closed door before I started looking for new ones to open. But maybe a little way down the metaphorical road…

  4. really sympathise with you. Facing similar restrictions myself due to recently diagnosed arthritis… no more serious fell-walking. ever. and yes, grieving is a necessary part of the process of acceptance. therefore so is anger and denial…

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