sensory overload

Two days done and dusted!
I feel fine physically – but I had no idea how psychologically draining walking through city centres would be without a guide dog.
When you have a dog – you can sort of relax, to a certain extent.
You obviously have to know where you’re going, but then the dog guides you round the obstacles, stops at the kerbs and crosses when advised to do so (if it’s safe)
The one thing it doesn’t do is talk!
Yesterday was another 15 mile day.
I had no pain or blisters at all – and was doing really well for the first 5 miles.
But what was difficult was having to listen to people telling me about every little thing, the crossings coming up, the lamp-posts, the gradient.
I don’t want to sound ungrateful or cross, because these things need to be pointed out, but if you imagine that, coupled with a noisy flow of traffic, you’ll appreciate how the brain just wants to shout: “Stop!!!”
I walked 190 miles along the canal tow paths 10 years ago to raise money for guide dogs. This was relatively easy – as it was quiet and straight for most of the walk. I could listen to the birds – and just relax.
There’s nothing to see either, which I think makes it harder as you get a total sensory overload when you’re in the cities.
There was no rest from the constant sounds – and I just had to concentrate on putting one foot in front of the other.
At one point I thought:
“I have two choices! I could burst into tears and have a good cry – or, I could pray for strength and determination to carry on!”
I did the latter – and was so glad when I was able to complete my task.
We were joined yesterday by two extremely lovely people.
One was a local guide dog owner, who had immense knowledge of the local area and walked with us for the first couple of miles.
He was able to advise us of which paths were safest and which could potentially be more difficult later on in the day.
The second was Richard – another experienced man who had walked the paths many times before.
We also encountered some really kind people.
One man actually stopped in the middle of a road to ask what we were raising money for.
When we told him – he came over to our bucket and popped a note in!
Today is bridge day!
It’s a shorter day – but one I’ve been slightly terrified about.
However – I’m determined to tackle it with fervour and relish!
Plus, James makes his TV debut later on BBC2 at 6.30!
I’m really looking forward to that!
You can donate to my justgiving page at:
http://www.justgiving.com/ChelseaTwoJames
and follow my adventures at:
http://www.twitter.com/nickiandchelly

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