So, here we are, the day before the long-anticipated 100km walk starts. And how are things looking?
As many of you will already know, both Pops (my dad) and I, have been suffering from not-insignificant tendon injuries and training for me has had to be knocked on the head entirely for the last few weeks. My hip injury is still sore after walking just a few kilometres but my fabulous osteopath (the very talented Clare Spencer at Church Street Practice in Melton), has worked her magic to get me to the start line, albeit with a warning to keep my expectations low.
As a result of all of this, I was hugely looking forward to having Pops, arguably one of the most stoical men in history, to squeeze an extra kilometre or two out of my grumbling joints with his emotional pep-talks and witty banter. However, yesterday he landed himself in A&E with acute shortness of breath and what sounds like an impending bout of flu (actual flu, not the man-flu variety)! Despite the protests of the medical staff, he has left the hospital and is absolutely adamant that he will be there with me, at least for the start, but ultimately the odds are not looking too favourable.
So, my hip and I may possibly be irritating each other alone for whatever chunk of this walk I can manage. Ultimately nothing will stem my disappointment at not crossing the finish line with or without Pops, but every kilometre walked is and will continue to be, a reminder to me (and hopefully to anyone who has kindly donated), that this is an effort that is truly worth making. Beautiful Tom, Eli (the lovely boy in the Duchenne Children’s Trust charity video) and thousands like them need our help and, with effort and money, that help is tantalisingly within reach. That fact doesn’t change with however few kilometres I walk and I will continue to do what I can to raise money until we see our efforts rewarded with a real treatment to make a real difference. That, is the least I can do.
Finally, having recognised that neither of us will complete this challenge this weekend, we have both begun discussing the option to sign up next year to finish what we started with our initial training walks all those months back.
These tired old boots have carried me over 1,500 miles (2,400km) over a period of 9 months; I can’t leave that level of training and practice without an official challenge. So watch this space!
With lots of love and thanks for all your emotional and financial support,