I drove home a little demoralised Tuesday evening. I know that I have made progress, but obviously not enough.
I met up with a lovely group of local walkers, and we all went off to a place where I’ve walked before, with my dogs. This delighted me, because at least I knew my way in this area if I decided this wasn’t my cup of tea. Everyone was really friendly, but I still wasn’t sure if I was able for this.
Well I think it might be my cup of tea…but not yet. I am definitely fitter than I was, but oh boy, I need to work on my pace! They shot off up the trail like it was a hi-speed walking race! OK, that is a gross exaggeration, but they were steadily walking at a faster pace than I was comfortable doing. They seemed to take it in turns to hang at the back with the
slow girl ‘new girl’ which was much appreciated, and maybe they were genuinely happy to do that, but I can’t help wonder if everyone might have been happier if they could have just got on and gone marching walking without me there holding everyone up.
The irony of being the struggling, unfit and slow walker, in a group of faster, fitter walkers, is that when everyone kindly stops to wait for you, you’re delighted to catch up with them. You’re gagging for the chance to stop for a breather, and let the fire in your shins subside for a wee minute or two. However, the moment you reach them they set off again, so perhaps the one walker in the group who really needs to stop for a break the most, barely gets to stop for a break at all. But perhaps they felt I was already holding them up too much? Or more likely they honestly weren’t aware of how difficult I was finding it to maintain the pace they were setting, and I was too embarrassed to speak up and take the break my poor shins and calfs were crying out for.
So, on the last leg of the walk, with the car park in sight and my shins finally having given up burning as I’d so far ignored them as best I could, I made a silent decision to rejoin the walker’s group on their weekday evening walks in a month’s time. That way I could see if I had progressed enough to maintain a better pace and stay up with them. In the intervening month I decided that I would continue working on my daily distances and to try to work a little on improving my pace…but just this evening, they’ve announced the destination for this coming Tuesday’s walk…and its a place I’ve been dying to go, but haven’t thus far plucked up the courage. It is less than 2 miles from home but I’ve never been sure if it was publicly accessible or not, and didn’t know who to ask for a definitive answer…so now I am tempted to put up with the sore shins and the humiliation of being the slowest, just so I can “enjoy” a walk in an area I’ve been keen to explore for a good while!