DATE                                         18.03.05

DISTANCE                                 ABOUT 4.22 MILES

WEATHER                                  COLD BUT DRY



 Thrunton woods

Four days later and once again I am getting ready for another trip to Thrunton Woods , what’s changed , well to start with I have managed to get hold of a “light weight” mat to plonk my arse on when I get tired , I have also managed to get a type of plaster that seems to stick and stay on my bum cheek which (I hope) will act as some sort of protection between the hard shell of the socket and the soft flesh of my bum cheek especially where the small tear has only just closed up and healed again . How good this system is I don’t know yet so today could be interesting. Fingers crossed for a good result.

Since my last trip up here (all of four days ago) I have been practising walking up and down an old slag heap that is near my house and I hope to improve upon the new technic that I sort of developed today but again it will be a bit hitty missy if it even works .

Like wise the burning sensation that I have been getting in my calf muscle (lactic acid?) could / might be helped  if I walked a bit on the flat first (easy walking) and warmed up a bit again I don’t know if this will help but I am willing to try anything and so I will be doing a slightly different walk today with an easy flat start along a forestry trail only going off trail if things are all ok plus I have been using the hiking poles in a slightly different way and making the most of the straps which for some reason doesn’t affect my still sore  shoulder so much as long as I don’t put too much weight through them . So today could be interesting.

Today would be another first for me as well; a good friend and neighbour would be joining me, he is fully aware of my situation and knows this could be the quickest walk in human history .but its not about the distance or route its about me trying to sort out a few problems and actually start to walk some / any distance without hurting myself.

So gear was thrown into the car and off we went. Parking was in the main car park which is very useful as there are a few tables and benches scattered around which makes it easer to sit down & put your boots on , likewise the tables make it a good place for a cup of coffee  and sorting the rucksacks out before we even start .

And off we went at the speed of a very slow worm , I know that with this starter leg I will never be able to walk very fast but whilst I am feeling  fresh and full of energy I want to see what is possible especially whilst we are walking on a level track with no trip hazards . However within ten minutes I am really starting to feel tired ………….how did I ever get this unfit in such a short time? Still time for a sit down and try out my new mat. (I didn’t know this at the time but the mat turned out to be one of the best things I have ever bought) after a short rest it was time to crack on , I have been experimenting with my hiking poles adjusting there height and seem to have found a good place where I can use them but not put too much pressure on my shoulder so I have gained something out of this walk already , likewise I use the straps slightly different from what the experts say you should but hey it works for me  so I will stick with it.

Unfortunately the sticky plaster that I had slapped on my arse cheek didn’t do so well and within a short period of time I start to get that sore burning sensation , a quick stop is called for and once again I’m dropping my trousers and removing the leg to look at the damage , the plaster has sort of been scrunched up and is nothing more than a gooey mess in fact its doing more harm than good at the moment so I remove it (not that it takes much pulling off) I decide to think out of the box and slap a very generous amount of cream on the hot spot then cover it with  a padded gauze and hold the whole thing in place with a clean stump sock (which is basically a terry towelling material ) then put  my leg  back on and hope it all stays where I want it . like a fool I am wearing jeans …………I should know better as no one going out walking should wear these …..It yet another sign that I have lost the plot a bit or I am not thinking straight.

Lunch was had sitting on a fallen tree then it was time to leave the forestry track and start some serious work , I was happy with what I had done so far and wanted to push my envelope that little bit more after all that’s what I was out here for so it was onto a muddy footpath that would take us up onto Thrunton Crags where if all went well I would link up with what’s know as the green path that would lead us back to the car park plus I knew this latter section of path from my trip up here a few days ago .

Going up the footpath was hard, it was much longer than what I thought it was plus much more steeper and slippery but loved the challenge something inside my head screamed out YES!!!!!!!! However my lungs where bursting by the time I made it to the top, fortunately there are a bench seat at the top and I sat gratefully down on it whilst I recovered. I can’t explain how happy I was at this point, yes my arse cheek was hurting again, I couldn’t get enough breath in me, my head was pounding but I was so alive and yes chuffed with myself , I had just done something that only a few days before I didn’t think that I could ever do .

This of course really set my brain into overdrive; if I could do this when I am in this state what could I achieve as I get fitter and better using the leg? And suddenly the distant snow covered Cheviots didn’t seem so remote and frighten in fact I sat there and made myself a promise that one day I would walk all the hills and mountains  in the Northumberland national park ……….not because they where there but because I wanted to walk them all however big or small just so I can say “I was there “ yes I was about to enter a different stage of my life where I walked just for the pure pleasure of being there…………..this might seem very sad to some people but something kicked off in my brain and for the first time in ages I felt like life is worth living again .

A quick check on my arse again confirmed what I already knew I had rubbed the skin raw again and there was a lovley bloody creamy mess, I stuck another lump of gauss on it and put the leg back on, this would have to do to get me back to the car but I need to get something sorted, like wise my right calf muscle was burning really badly almost making it shake, I would have to get that sorted out as well.

Walking back down to the car was a bit of a Rolla coaster , the path was full of trip hazards and was very slippery in places , but I found if I extended my hiking poles a bit I could use them to control my speed a bit and that helped my shaking leg no end , another lesson learnt . If you have poles use them. The only down side was my shoulder started to hurt a bit but nothing to get excited about.

However I have to say that I was very pleased to get back to the car where the first thing I did was take my trousers off and remove my leg , the sore spot was really letting me know that I had overdone it . I really have got to get something sorted out with this before it really becomes a problem, I took a few photos today, not many because it’s a right faff getting the camera out and putting it away.

Me sitting down having lunch (note to myself don’t wear jeans anymore)

Looking up at Thrunton Crags


God was I ever that young looking (it’s been a very hard ten years!)


The start of the path up the footpath on Thrunton Crags


Stopping to get my breath back looking down


Me heading up


The path, it might not look like much now but at the time it was seriously scary for me


Where the path levels off for a bit


Still heading up, note the shaky blurry photo my leg was seriously shaking now under the strain


Looking back down


Last bit to the top


VERY shaky looking back down


Made it to the top and the view


Having a well deserved sit down on one of the benches that are scattered along here

Day after thoughts:-

I was knackered but overjoyed when I got home, one hot shower later I started to calm down a bit, my sore spot is …..Well a bloody mess and has had some serious patching up I am seeing the nurse tomorrow hopefully she might come up with something that might work, as for my shaking / burning muscles that stopped as soon as I sat down and took the strain of it, I tried to rub / massage it but that didn’t seem to help, my shoulder has a dull ache that hopefully will sort itself out, but I have to say that I was very pleased with myself.


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