Walking in the real world

It’s not my kind of weather today. It’s sunny and there aren’t many clouds in the sky.

I know for most that this is the rare side of the British weather that they look forward to and wait all year for.

To me it’s nothing but a long sweaty, burned and uncomfortable challenge. My motivation to go outside is usually zero or less.

At the moment I’m sitting in the shade – however this isn’t the usual living room shade that a hot day prompts for me. I’m sitting on a garden wall about 3/5ths of the way to Leamington on my first attempt to walk into town in about 8 years. 

So far ‘walking in the real world’ is going ok – but I’m a bit puffed out and sweaty. The gradual inclines on the way don’t feel so gentle to me at the moment and although I’m now familiar with the distance from my park circuits I’m not at all used to my legs having to carry me up and down gradients and they’re burning.

I promised myself that if I wanted coffee today though that I was damn well going to get off my ass and walk to it. Consequently my target is Starbucks in the Royal Priors Mall.

I better get moving before I seize up.

(Walks – in total the journey had four stops for a breather – some sitting and some standing.)

Unexpectedly I just bumped into one of the lovely ladies from Slimming World at the top of town. She was out on a walk round the shops with her husband (he has a firm handshake – I like people with firm handshakes!)

She seemed really happy and said she was having a good week – which put a smile on my face and a spring in my step. I was chatting with her last week and she’d made some great progress with a positively excellent total loss so far. They’d both apparently seen me earlier sitting on a wall and had been chatting about me just before we bumped into eachother.

It’s always nice randomly seeing people I know when I’m out and about – especially because it reminds me I’m not alone in my efforts. It’s comforting to be pulled back to reality and be reminded that there are others also making positive changes and trying hard with similar challenges.

Sometimes it takes a lot of mental effort to walk out of my front door (it did today) and face the world. Sometimes it feels really lonely. I often feel like absolutely everyone is going to be looking at me, but it’s mostly just in my head.

Good on all the girls (and boys). They’re doing just great and they collectively make me feel wonderful!

(Also a big shout out to the lovely lady from SW who accompanied me around St Nic’s park yesterday morning. Let me know when you fancy another chatty stroll!)

Starbucks is a nice hidey hole today. As it’s in the mall there’s no blazing sunshine and some cooooool air conditioning.

I’m sitting opposite a middle aged couple with a laptop between them. The man is typing an e-mail and his wife (?) is just staring into a space above his shoulder.

They don’t look particularly interested in each other’s company and as I watch them I’m wondering why they came for a drink together in the first place when they so obviously have no intention of talking or communicating.

Maybe they had a row on the way and this wasn’t how they planned it – but somehow I doubt it. I don’t think this man accidentally brought his laptop with him.

Anyway – aside from contemplating this couple’s need for marriage counselling, now I’m left with a choice. The chair I’m sitting in is two miles exactly from my house, and the return journey involves a few little inclines with a longer uphill one at the end.

I walked up it recently after my eye test and it took a me a few stops…

Do I catch the bus home or try to walk it?… I’m going out this evening and the same walk in reverse might just be putting me at the upper limit of what I can do before I crash and burn…

Screw it. I’m doing it. I’ll hop on the bus if I need to half way and snooze when I get home if I’m worn out.

(Walks)

So far the stroll back has been chilled and I’m not rushing it.

One thing I’ve always meant to do, but never had the time or fitness (depending on when the mood took me) is check out a little sunken garden in Leamington called ‘The Dell’. I’ve actually walked past it plenty of times years ago – but always with an objective, so never stopped and investigated.

It’s a really lovely little space with a play area for the local children and some shady (but not particularly comfortable) benches. I headed down the little path for a look around.


I like it! I think that this will be a stopping point in the future! Architecturally and historically it’s quite interesting plus the plants are nice too.

There’s also a pub just over the road which I always used to like. It’s recently been refurbished by the looks of it, but seems to have mostly evil things on the menu.

Either way – exploration win!

(Carries on walking)

Although I sat briefly on a bench in The Dell – it was mostly just to take in the sensation of being there (it was lovely and peaceful) and observe the scenery. Overall I’d noticed that the return journey was proving (from a muscular perspective) much easier than the walk into Leam.

The soles of my feet were getting a bit sore though, but nothing awful. No blisters yet.

Nevertheless I know from experience that pushing things too much just results in not being able to exercise later – and that’s NOT the objective. So, about half way I chose a quiet wall and sat down to sip my coffee for a few minutes.

‘You ok?’ A voice with a thick Welsh accent suddenly said to the right of me.

It sounded uncannily like Tom Jones.

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I turned around and took off my headphones. It wasn’t ‘Jones the voice’. It was an elderly man in jeans and a baseball cap, leaning toward me inquisitively.

‘Yes I’m fine thanks!’ I replied ‘Just taking a breather.’

‘Right you are!’ Said the man. ‘No shortness of breath or tightness in the chest?’

‘Well I’m a bit out of breath – but in a good way!’ I reassured him, and reached out to shake his hand. ‘Thanks for asking though – it’s nice of you to stop.’

He shook my hand firmly. The second trustworthy shake of the day. He seemed like a good sort and when he talked he sounded like he was about to start singing ‘Delilah‘.

I instantly liked him.

‘Just moving makes me out of breath but it’s the only way to loose the weight.’ I said – feeling like I should explain.

He looked at me, apparently gauging whether I was telling the truth about how I felt and then relaxed a little. He surmised that I wasn’t in any immediate danger.

‘I ‘ad a problem a few years ago – in ‘ere.’ He said, jabbing at the centre of his chest with a thumb. ‘Got a pacemaker now though.’

‘All good since then?’ I asked. ‘Are you doing ok?’

‘Oh yea!’ He said proudly. ‘Never better! Could ‘ardly breathe before. It was ‘orrible.’

He paused.

‘I saw you walk past my window and sit down though and I thought I better ask. Y’know. You never erm… y’know.’

He looked me up and down and was clearly skirting around the obvious issue. I could tell as he talked to me that he was concerned due to my size and weight but also being very considerate and polite.

‘I hope you don’t mind me sitting here…’ I said ‘I was just taking a breather.’

‘No no no’ he shook his head. ‘You relax! My neighbour – ee wone mine.’

I shook his hand again and wished him goodbye as I walked off. He was a nice chap, and even though he came to chat because I’m bigger than your average guy I didn’t mind.

It’s nice to know people care what happens to other people – and who knows. It could have been a different story and he could have been the difference between life and death. It’s way better than being called fat by youths hanging out of cars or pointed at by rude children!

Good on him.

Right. Time for the final leg. 

(Dave assaults the mental equivalent of the North Face of the Eiger, which is in fact is a relatively gentle incline rather than a rocky and dangerous precipice)

Ok. Now I’m home. I’m panting, sweating like mad and my pulse is racing. I made it up the hill this time without sitting or stopping, and in doing so for the FIRST TIME EVER (since I bought it) today I filled the exercise meter on my Apple Watch.

This means that by lunch time I’ve already hit my red ring calorie goal. I’ve also nailed my previously unobtainable fantasy fiction pipe dream never gonna happen absolutely hateful green ring and a bit more.

Woot woot! 

Right Internet. Time for a shower, a spot of lunch and maybe a little nap. Then it’s off to the cinema later to see Suicide Squad!

Let’s hope the negative reviews all prove to be unfounded…

Davey


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