In which an ageing climber comes to terms with life closer to the ground.


Learning to walk

Filed under: — Mike Chapman @ 8:08 pm

Kedleston Park Between Ashbourne and Derby

Growing old is a process of doors shutting. As time goes by the list of things you cannot do grows longer and one struggles to find activities that meet one’s needs. I have always thought I would not swim if I could surf I will not go walking while I can still climb. I have made the change, with difficulty, from climbing to cycling and my mind has become settled.

It was then with some fear that I noticed I had gained a “foot slap” – my right foot slaps the ground when I walk making a loud noise in a quiet corridor – this first came to my attention when I was in school before the children had returned. It is a strange affliction as I can still run but fail to walk quickly without getting pains in my right leg. In fact I am having to learn how to walk again. I might have failed to recognise the problem for a few more days but I had just visited my father who has a similar problem. In fact I had a spooky moment when I first heard it as I thought it was him that must be following me in a corridor! A visit to a physiotherapist confirmed that I was not injured. A visit to the doctor confirmed it was a nerve problem of some kind.

I now move into an area where I do not wish to go mentally as the nerve problem in my arm that has affected my hand and prevents me climbing is one thing, a nerve problem that prevents me walking with attitude is altogether more limiting. Today’s ride then was a confirmation that travelling on a cycle is still open to me. I spent a lot of the ride trying to calculate whether my leg was hurting and whether I was going as fast as the week before. I think I am.

Hole in the Wall – a village south of Ashbourne

The weather was good, we travelled south out of the Peak starting from Ashbourne and heading to Derby before completing the 35 mile circuit along a Roman road.



One response to “Learning to walk”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Very Philosophical! I face the same dilemma with my knees. Once again nice photos.

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