I learnt a new word this weekend whilst playing trivial pursuit.
Abasia, the inability to walk or stand in a normal manner (not to be confused with abasiophilia, a psychosexual attraction to people with impaired mobility); prior to this weekend I had underestimated what being able to walk in a normal manner involved.
According to my Granny there are two types of people, those that are made for running and those that are made for walking. Until this weekend I would have placed myself in the running category. I am most probably one of the slowest runners you will ever come across; my brother once said that if I carried on running at my pace I would be able to run forever.
I’ve become passionate about running the past few years; it’s not the physical aspect but the feeling of completing something, the feeling of achievement that has become a love of mine. As part of my £2014 in 2014 Challenge I have already completed the Plymouth Half Marathon and I am looking to take part in a couple more running events this year.
This weekend was different though; this weekend was my first walking challenge, this weekend was the Isle of Wight Challenge. 56km in just one day. 35 long miles around the Island.
The challenge started as we meant to go on. After spending nearly eight hours travelling to what seemed to be a different country, we arrived at our accommodation for the night. We traipsed back and forth from the car transporting our luggage into the mobile home; but where was my suitcase? That’s right, it was sitting pretty back in Devon.
Not only that but I had decided to wear the one item of clothing that I had worn constantly for the weeks I was coming down with encephalitis, the same dress that I had worn for weeks on end, when I didn’t realise you were supposed to wash everyday. Not the greatest start to the challenge weekend.
The next morning we woke at the crack of dawn and headed down to the start of our 56km walk around the Island. As per usual with these sorts of events we were given a group style zumba warm up and a motivational talking to by an old man with a microphone. Then we were off.
Along our journey we were able to meet many different people from all walks of life, all with one purpose, to help others by challenging themselves. My mother has a very special characteristic which means that she can make friends in literally any situation with ANYONE.
Over nine-and-a-half hours of walking (with some much needed pit stops in-between) with the most stunning views, we had made it.
The same old man with the microphone was there again. He greeted us with “Hello my two angels” and handed us over our medals and a glass of champagne.
It wasn’t until the following day that I realised what abasia truly meant, as Mother and I hobbled around the mobile home with blistered, tendonitis feet and made bets on who would lose the first toenail first, I rightly understood what it meant to have the inability to walk or stand in a normal manner. But, we did have our medals, so I suppose it was worth it!
I was also able to realise something else. Perhaps there is only one type of person. Something I have noticed since taking part in these sorts of challenges is that people are people. Whether they are running people or walking people or even walk-run-walk people; people are people.