day 4 – mud, sweat and tears

I hate three things with a passion!
Olives, bad-mannered people, and as of yesterday, the A48 to Newport!
I did all the right things to make sure my foot and ankle would be OK for the next day’s walking.
I put ice on it, slept with it raised up.
But when I got up my foot was very sore.
Mum put a protective dressing on it, and I used one of my knee supports on my ankle.
We started off at the Chepstow garden centre – and for the first two or three miles my foot was fine, I didn’t feel much pain at all.
However when we got on to the A48 cycle path things became incredibly difficult.
It was incredibly overgrown, muddy, very uneven and quite narrow.
I mentioned in a previous post how psychologically draining it is to listen to instructions, try and think about where you’re walking plus coping with the endless streams of vehicles zooming by.
Yesterday I had that to cope with as well as my ankle, which was certainly telling me that what I was doing was stupid and I should stop now!!
Then, as if things weren’t irksome enough for me, I tripped over a bump in a road.
Now, I like to think I’m quite a strong feisty person who can cope with most things – but that was the thing which almost finished me off.
I stopped on the side of the road and gave way to the frustration and emotion I’d been trying to control.
After a little cry – and a whinge about the “Stupid roads!” I carried on.
Frank was an absolute star.
I felt quite embarrassed as we had two other walkers with us.
Rob, the treasurer of the long distance walkers association for South Wales, and Pete, who’d been training with me for the walk but they were all very kind and reassured me things would get better.
We stopped for lunch then carried on.
Towards the end of the day the sun came out and things became even tougher.
I remember thinking:
“I hope John’s owner knows how difficult today was, and just how much energy, both physical and mental I’d used on this day!”
I thought about Dad, who I am going to name a puppy after.
I cried again!
I watch marathon runners and sports people on TV and have never appreciated just how hard they have to push to finish a task.
Now I know I’m not that standard, but it’s very similar, you can’t just sit down on the side of the road and say:
“I’m not doing it anymore!”
Well, some might – but I didn’t.
I remember the lovely Len Goodman saying to a contestant on Strictly once:
“Winners never quit and quitters never win!”
When I got home – I had a delicious roast chicken dinner prepared by my Mum.
She’s been a total star, looking after the dogs, making all the meals and just being there!
The next two days are shorter, and I’m very glad to leave the A48 behind me!
Next stop Cardiff!!
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