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Day Two and this time there are tears

May 8, 2012

IMG_0227As per usual we were last to bed in the hotel. The owner had come and turned the lights off around us as we continued to play Scrabble and drink the remainder of the second bottle and the spirits bought in haste just before the bar closed. Forgotten that quaint custom of a hotel bar actually closing, but this is the Lake District. And then away to the four poster and the land of Nod. I awoke the following morning unable to move. Someone had obviously come in during the night and pinned me down to the bed flat on my back and encased me in an iron jumpsuit. I could not lift a leg, roll over or sit up. I realised I was going to have to break free of these chains to get to the loo, so with Herculean effort I braced my abs (what there are) and threw my legs over the side of the bed. Did I mention how high the bed was? No, I’d forgotten that too.  The floor wasn’t where I expected it to be so I free-fell to the carpet as my legs were unable  to take my weight for landing. I crawled the two feet to the bathroom and remembered the design flaw too late as I lifted myself naked on to the loo. The massive bay window overlooking the thriving Bank Holiday car park had electric blinds operated soley by a switch outside the bathroom. Too late for those poor panorama seekers, they got an eyeful of a sight nobody needed to see. I grabbed a towel from the side of the bath in a belated effort to cover my modesty.

Convinced my legs would loosen up as the day went on, we set off this time to do only one climb. Pillar. He told me it wouldn’t be as bad as yesterday. He was right. It was fucking worse. It didn’t help that as we set off and rechecked the map he realised that it was going to be an extra two and a half miles each way from the car park to the start of the walk. But in fact those 5 miles were the easiest – on a lovely metalled roadway and I didn’t fall over on it once. In contrast, the rest of the walk found every step an effort, my hips crying, my knees sobbing and my fingers swelling. Yet again the ‘path’ seemed to disappear amidst bogs and rocks. To me a ‘path’ is something distinct, something others have trod before and something that makes the way clear. They may be clear on the OS map, but it wasn’t clear to me where we were meant to be going, but we plodded onward. And upward. Always bloody upward. I hate to be the weakest memeber of a team, but when it comes to most physical activity that is somewhere I am likely to be, and definitiely walking with my husband. The problem is I resort to the role assigned. Whining, moaning, saying I can’t do it. Whereas if I have been walking with others who find it more arduous than me I am full of jolly hockey sticks encouragement,  “Don’t look up but just take one step at a time, you can do it…” Thus it is that husband is miles ahead and I am silently crying as I see the rock face that is Wind Gap. I just can’t really, I can’t. I have trodden upward and upward for so long my heart feels like it will burst. I have a fantastic view where I am. I don’t need to go up that final 50 metres to see an even better one. Because I just can’t face the coming down again like yesterday. The fear as you stand at the top looking down thinking I can’t put my foot over that edge. I will just fall face first in to oblivion. My husband tells me I can do these things, to ‘trust my boots’. I do trust them. It’s me I don’t trust. My lack of balance and core strength. So I say I will wait for him as he heads up for the final push. The sun disappears and I get cold waiting on my own so I have to keep moving. I then see two twenty-somethings coming over the top of Wind Gap and down the side of the hill towards me. She has a natural ease and appears to simply walk straight down the incredibly steep, rock-strewn surface. Her partner is less assured, but confident nonetheless and it is a joy to see them both so able.

Husband returns having had a glorious view across to Scafell and we continue downward. He likens my use of the poles to stabilise myself as the same as watching Richard III flail his walking stick around. This is partly because one of my poles keeps giving way so that when I am leaning with all of my weight on it, it will suddenly shrink by a foot and I will fall sideways in to it. We try to find the clearing in the forest as marked on the map, but simply cannot and have to resort to using the same path down throuigh the forest as we had used on the way up. What had kept me going upwards was at least I wouldn’t be doing this route on the way down. With legs a foot shorter than his, things that are mere steps for him are enormous obstacles for me. Particularly when the pole keeps giving way. But I do get down and we do eventually get back to the car and back to the hotel for another four course dinner and the anaesthetic that is alcohol.

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4 Responses to “Day Two and this time there are tears”


  1. […] when hubby and I go away and are walking for a couple of days. He’s told me there’s no crying allowed this time. Let’s hope it’s smiles all the way and no snivelling silently. I’ll […]

  2. Liz Yandell Says:

    it is like reliving several walk with mick!!! especially the difference that longer legs make!!!!

  3. Janet Says:

    Hilarious! You have reminded me why I hate ‘walking’!!


  4. OMG, this reminds me of First Year Camp in the Brecon Beacons! The HORROR! The most exercise I’d ever had preciously was dancing to Can The Can at the church youth club disco…


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