Mostly broken but still functional 

I felt like a broken man when I woke up yesterday. 

I knew that my enthusiastic tramping around the Malvern hills on Sunday may have repercussions but I was expecting it to be in my knees – and not… well… EVERYWHERE

OK – I’m probably overstating it a little – my upper body escaped largely unmolested – but every time I tried to sit, walk down stairs or gradients my legs started screaming. 

Oddly my knees were absolutely fine. Not a single twinge. I’m actually really glad about this because I always thought I’d done long term damage to them while I was massive. My main issue was instead the front of my thighs which were complaining like they never had before. 

Around this point (whilst gingerly hoisting myself on and off the loo) I received a text from a friend wondering if I fancied a walk around St Nics park. 

We’ve not had a chance to catch up for a couple of months now thanks to various circumstances, so I immediately replied back that I’d love to. It would also be a good opportunity to try and stroll away my aches and pains. 

Sitting down all day would do them no good at all – despite that seeming a very attractive alternative. 

By the time I met her I’d already walked a mile and a half (cursing each downward hill like a drunken sailor with Tourette’s) and was a little warmed up. 

Thankfully though our walks have never been about speed. They’re always just a really nice chance to chat and catch up on family events or Slimming World progress. 

They’re also usually a smashing opportunity to see what’s happening with the swanling and the other people we both meet regularly in the park. 

As it happens the swanling (which I saw from a distance last Thursday but couldn’t get a good photo of) is now all grown up. 

This makes me both happy AND sad. As a friend said on Facebook when I posted this picture yesterday we’ve both grown and changed a lot over the last year – and our progress seems to be inextricably interlinked in my mind. 

To see it proudly and capably making its way in the world is a wonderful thing. I’d be lying however if I said I didn’t miss the little ball of fluff that last summer was busy surviving the gradual demise of its little siblings. 

Still – the world is always changing and we have to adapt and change with it if we want to survive. This little fellow is no exception. 

Neither was the curly haired toddler I usually see wrapped up warm in his buggy with his always chatty mother. She is never less than delightfully complimentary about my weight loss when I see her – so ranks highly on my list of people I like to bump into. I always walk away from our chats with a smile and a little spring in my step. 

Her little one is now out of his pushchair and walking slowly around the park with his mum. This little fellow’s grin (much like the enthusiasm of his mother) is completely infectious – and his impossibly clear and sparkly brown eyes never fail to remind me how wonderful it must be to be a little almost brand new person with the world waiting you to grow up and explore it. 

After a couple of laps my friend and I hugged and headed off in our respective directions to continue our days. 

By this time I felt that if I stopped I probably wouldn’t start again. My legs still felt awful

This could be bad news as I had another walk with a friend planned for the early evening – and we never fail to have an excellent natter. It was something I didn’t want to miss. 

So I kept walking. 

When I’d finished I went home and kept myself moving about with housework and cooking (it’s a soup themed week at SW and I was making an appropriately speedy beef and swede stew) before heading out once more when my friend arrived.

She (like me) is always checking her watch for her step count – and last week I was marginally beaten in our increasingly regular (good natured) battle to be the king or queen of putting one foot repeatedly in front of the other. 

By the time I’d finished yesterday though I think I’d taken pole position (at least this time – she’s quite feisty and I expect spirited competition next week 😄).

I also smashed my record for distance walked in a day – and managed over sixteen miles!

When I awoke today (and multiple times in the night) I was hoping that the aches and pains would be subsiding – however I probably should have taken into account the fact that I clearly don’t know when enough is enough any more. When I should have been resting I instead went out walking like I was on a mission. 

Only a fool would do the same again. 

So today I did the same again. 

As I type I’m sitting in Solihull after a completely unplanned (but immensely enjoyable) early morning walk down the canal and around town to Warwick Parkway three miles away (the out of town train station as opposed to the closer one around the corner). 

I have a coffee in front of me and I’ve been reading a book. In case anyone wondered whether I’m still reading self help manuals – I am – and at the moment I’m making my way through this:

I’ll be honest – so far I’m not a fan. 

For someone that claims to be an optimist he has a pretty gloomy assessment of the world at the start of the book. Essentially his opinion is that everything is out to get us and every social and political structure is designed to control or enslave us. 

This may or may not be true. In some respects I often think it is – however I’ve come to the conclusion that living your life motivated by the claustrophobic awareness that invisible forces are trying to crush you is no way to exist. 

Whether it’s a reality or a fiction I have pretty much zero control over it and I only form such opinions because I’m continually drip fed them by a 24 hour media cycle which at times I feel I can’t escape. 

If I choose not to watch and worry am I stupid or am I just happier?

Personally I find I’m just happier. 

It’s clearly a personal choice though and others may find not knowing or acknowledging what’s going on in the world equally as stressful or upsetting.

Furthermore they may believe that my lack of political engagement exemplifies everything that’s wrong with modern society. They may be right – but I don’t care. It’s all too depressing and I no longer want to engage with it. 

Either way so far the author and I seem to fundamentally differ in our world views and unless he cheers the **** up in the next few chapters I’m moving on to greener pastures. 

So – in the meantime I’m going to indulge myself with some window shopping, and looking at things I probably shouldn’t covet any more (but still do a little bit). 

I can’t help liking shiny things Internet but I’m trying not to!



  1. A friend once told me that you should always have a rest day when excercising regularly, reading your blogs, I can’t remember you having one recently, I know there is always an opposite opinion in things, but googling rest day when excercising comes up with a lot of pages in agreement, below is a snap from one such page, don’t get overdoing it Davey, you could end up injured and not be able to get out for a period of time, and I know you would hate that, take care and have a rest, you blooming well deserve one

    TRUTH: Rest days and a proper sleep support weight loss.
    ‘Resting is crucial for your muscles, your nervous system, your brain and your body,’ says Wong, ‘but also for weight loss.’
    ‘Every time you place physical stress on your body, you need to give it time to recover to be fitter, stronger and support your metabolism for the next time you work out. If you’re going to go at it every day, how is your body going to recover?’ asks Addison.
    Working on the biceps
    Once a routine gets easy, change it
    ‘Getting sufficient sleep to allow your muscles to repair after an intense workout helps to improve your basal metabolic rate – the amount of energy your body needs daily at rest,’ she adds. ‘Your metabolism needs to be pushed to use the food stored in your body to produce energy. Interval training (see opposite) is an effective way to do this. In order for it to work at top speed, you need appropriate rest, which means days off the gym.’
    WHAT YOU SHOULD DO: Never work out more than five days a week. Try to exercise either on alternate days or on weekdays only. You will also lose motivation quicker if you work out every day.
    Make sure you get enough sleep. ‘Our bodies work with the rhythms of the sun,’ says Wong, ‘so we need less sleep (but still at least six hours a night) during the summer, and at least seven hours in winter.’

    Read more:–SHOULD-doing-instead.html#ixzz4ccrIMfsR
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