DISTANCE 2.2 MILES
WEATHER COLD AND GREY
START FINISH CAR PARK AT THRUNTON
So this was going to be it my first walk out in the countryside , I was feeling pretty excited about the whole thing but I was very scared as well , I had chosen these woods because I knew them prior to my accident and knew that there was lots of different types of surfaces that I so needed to practise on , likewise I knew that I wouldn’t be going any great distance and that the forestry people had already marked up some good forestry walks …………….not that I had any chance of ever doing any of them at this stage but I had to start some place and I had chosen these woods to start with , there was another reason as well and with it only being March I knew that the weather could turn wet and windy , I don’t mind the wet but wind I had discovered was a killer for me , my sense of balance was crap to be honest and the slightest gust of wind would literally blow me over so my thinking was that the trees would provide me some shelter .
Being a complete idiot I had decided that I would “do this alone “mainly because I didn’t want other people to see me struggling …I know I wasn’t right in the head but at the time it seemed that it was the only thing to do, pre haps once I learnt to stop feeling sorry for myself I could accept help and support of others …………….no this is something I had to do myself.
My walking gear was packed, with lots of creams, plasters, lotions and potions for any sore spots that I knew I would develop as the day went on and I had packed lots of food and drink, I knew that I wouldn’t go far today but I really wanted to spend the full day out practising and so it seemed the right thing to do.
Driving up I had a small plan spinning around in my head and that was to try to walk a small section of what was the “green” route up to Thrunton crags where there was a few well placed viewing seats that had been placed in memory of various people where I could sit down and recover and admire the views. Then make my way back.
On arrival gear was sorted and off I went, slowly wasn’t the word I had hiking poles to aid me but was having trouble with my left collar bone.
my Scar still a bit tender
Where the cut into my side to get some bone marrow? For my shoulder
An xray show the final result
It had been fixed a few week before but the trouble was I had to use it when I was on my crutches and it just wasn’t getting enough time to heal up and settle down , and so I “felt it” when I put any weight on the hiking pole , and when I tried to use just one I just sort of twisted my whole body when I swung my arty leg out this was all new to me and so I hit my first problem of the day and I wasn’t even clear of the car park. I decided to stop and put my poles away in the ruck sack , even this seem to take ages as I had trouble with my balance when I swung my pack onto my back again …..Sigh! I have got such a lot to learn then it came to me in a flash that the ground was my friend and pre haps I should plonk my arse on the ground when ever I needed to do something, so first thing was I needed a small light weight mat to sit on to stop me from getting a wet arse every time and I had already practised getting up off the ground many many times at home so I knew I wouldn’t have any problems in getting back up again.
First lesson learnt and I still wasn’t clear of the car park still this is what I am out for so make the most of it.
Walking along the forestry paths was a bit of a nightmare for me, so many trip hazards, uneven surfaces even the odd stone if trodden on would be enough to send me flying over, I quickly discovered how to fall without getting hurt and not tensing up, which lead me to believe that the fear of falling is far worse than the fall itself. (Sometimes). But it was another lesson learnt and even today I still can go “soft” when falling so I don’t hurt myself.
My progress was painfully slow with numerous rest breaks, my arse cheek was starting to develop “hot” spots where I would have to slap a dollop of cream on it or even try to put a special plaster on it, not so easy when you cant see what you are doing and I wasn’t ready to stop any stranger who was passing and ask them to stick a plaster on my arse.
Another thing I quickly learnt was how physically hard it is , I thought that after walking around my street and housing estate for the previous weeks that it wouldn’t be too bad , I was wrong walking on uneven surfaces proved to be much much harder both physically and mentally and I still had the downhill return section to go .
I decided to try to alter my walking technic to see if that would help ….really I was clutching at straws at this stage but this is why I was out here.
After what seemed to be a life time I finally made it the first bench and gratefully plonked my arse down on it, I was totally spent with a very sore spot developing on my bum cheek. Coffee and food where thrown down my neck and I felt my strength returning, next it was off with the leg and a new stump sock on (amputees will know about this) a big dollop of cream on the sore spot the relief was almost instant but I knew that it wouldn’t last once I started to walk on it again ………..I would have to sort something out for this problem but at the moment I couldn’t think of anything.
After a suitable rest it was time to stand up and head back down, on standing up and letting my right leg take most of the strain once again I got that burning painful sensation on my right calf muscle at the time I believed this to be because of all the work it was doing causing a “Lactic acid build up” and I had to live with this pain for many months when I did any walking , it was really bad when I stopped for a while and so led me to keep my rest breaks sort and sweet or little and often ……….still another lesson learnt .
Half way back to the car park my bum cheek was really letting me know that it wasn’t happy with me , but at this stage I really didn’t know what to do about it and carried on .( it was some weeks / months before I finally sussed out what worked and what didn’t) I had altered my walking technic on the slow uphill path now coming down that didn’t work and I had to rethink how to do it ………………again this is why I was out here after trying many different styles I sort of got something that sorta worked but with my arse cheek really hurting now so I cant say that it was really successful then thankfully I was back at the car , rucksack was thrown into the boot and the first thing I did was remove my leg , the white stump sock had a huge wet bloody patch where the skin had bee rubbed raw …………………I need to work on this and sort it out as a matter of priority .
I had an old camera with and got a few photos, not many because I meant stopping and getting out of my rucksack which was a right pain.
A break in the trees and a well deserved rest looking towards the Cheviots
Last photo before I start back down, it’s hard to think that I would ever get to walk in those distant hills the way I was today.
Looking up the footpath, the tree roots etc. caused me no end of trouble
Looking back down the path, even this slight downhill caused me grief
A well deserved rest stop at a break in the trees .
Day after thoughts.
My bum cheek was sore the skin had either been rubbed raw or the skin has simply been pulled apart and spilt, it was really hard to tell at this stage, it meant that I couldn’t wear the leg at all for the next few days while it dried up and healed, fortunately I have always healed very quickly but an important lesson learnt.
Distance wise I did next to nothing but I had already learnt (the hard way) a few lessons that I would act upon I also decided to return to the same place in a few days time when I was off work to build on what I had learnt so far. This wasnt going to be a walk in the park for me I discovered.
WALKS 2005 ABOUT ME NORTHUMBERLAND
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