Last March I blogged about my resolution to walk 1,000 miles in 2016 (and posted this picture of some swans I’d met on the way). The comments I received in reply showed me what a popular form of exercise walking is, and I promised to post an update on how I was going. I was hoping that by now I’d be able to share my success with you but… Well maybe this time next year 🙂
I started off with good intentions and some trepidation. By March I’d worked through the initial aches and pains, and by the summer I’d made the 500 mile mark. The weather was fine and using my feet to take me where I wanted to go, instead of travelling by bus or car, was a joy. I was beginning to be quietly confident about completing the 1,000 miles by the end of the year.
Then, suddenly, someone threw a spanner into the works. (Actually, that someone was me…) After a morning’s writing, and still half in the world that my hero and heroine inhabited, I got to my feet and stubbed my toe. Not such a disaster, but when I’d finished hopping around and cursing a bit, I looked down at my foot and saw that it was already swelling, and one of my toes was sitting at a very unlikely angle.
So, cutting a long story short, a kind and very no-nonsense nurse pulled my dislocated toe straight again and I was given a special shoe to wear for a couple of weeks. After six weeks, I was ready to slip my foot back into my walking shoes. Compared to the difficulties that so many people face, the hill in front of me was barely a bump in the road, but still the next 50 miles felt slower than the last 500. My foot was getting better though, and the world was once again beginning to shrink. With a bit of luck and a following wind, I still reckoned I might make my 1,000 miles.
But it wasn’t to be. I never really gave up on the walking, but I couldn’t do as much as I’d hoped. I Rested, Iced, Compressed and Elevated, treated myself to a good pair of walking socks and memory foam insoles, but I’d done more damage to my foot than was apparent straight away, and it was going to take its own sweet time in getting better. After being able to trek six or seven miles every day without getting tired, it was frustrating to have to stop after the first mile or so and, needless to say, I didn’t make my 1,000 miles.
Failure? Looking at it quantitively, yes. But I did my best, which feels like a different kind of success. And this year I’m trying again, even if my foot still isn’t 100% and I’m told that I must still work my way back up to the longer walks. Because writing has taught me a couple of very important lessons. Learning what you can and can’t do isn’t failure, and there’s always a next time. And, of course, the swans and ducks in the park still need to be fed… 🙂
When I last blogged about walking Amy Ruttan made a comment which sparked my imagination – how far would I have got if I’d been walking in a straight line and not round in circles? So far this year, I reckon I’ve got as far as the Eurotunnel terminus at Waterloo Station. Which isn’t much to write home about, but look at all the places I can go from there!
Wishing you all a happy and healthy New Year! And may all of your New Year’s resolutions be a learning experience 🙂