Monday, 17 February 2014
Walking, Walking, Walking!
Crocuses shining in the sun at last!
It's a gorgeous sunny Sunday: the sun is shining at long last after those horrendous gales of the last few days. Friday night's gale had kept us up on and off for most of the night and we spent Saturday feeling tired and fed up of the continuing miserable weather. It was like a rare treat at last waking up to some sunshine and a calm day.
I stood at the foot of the lake at Wrest Park in Bedfordshire. I'm wearing my wellington boots, because it's been so wet and the grounds are muddy. There is nothing odd or unusual about that to anyone, but for our family it is another 'first' to celebrate. We are posing like tourists while Sarah takes a photo and laughing because I've just walked a good kilometre or so from the cafe to the lake. I've only ever been to Wrest Park since I fell ill - it's only been open this last few years- and I've only ever got to the end of the lake in a wheelchair before now. I'm grinning like a cheshire cat, not quite believing I've been able to do this and that I've still got loads of energy left for more.
Has the wind not blown you away yet?
We wind our way further along by the moat now, treading carefully through a minefield of fallen tree branches - a reminder of the previous day's weather - but enjoying the warm sun, the views and the waterside.
A crisp day for reflection
I'm snap happy with my camera, everything always looks so different and more beautiful in the sunlight. There are a lot of people out and about, I think everyone is uplifted to see the sunshine and they've all had the same idea to get out and enjoy the day. I'm feeling uplifted too, but I'm also amazed yet again at what I'm managing so easily to do. Walking, just simply walking! Walking a long way, walking at a good pace, walking normally, walking in my wellies! I feel like jumping and singing and cannot quite believe I'm having a walk around this beautiful place at long last: no wheelchairs, no walking sticks, no stopping to catch my breath, no searching for the next bench to sit on. I cannot quite take it in. It's a simple everday thing, but for me it's enormous.
This time I got to climb the steps and admire the view from the bridge
I just wanted to keep walking on and walking on and walking on. It suddenly felt alien and new as though I shouldn't be able to do it, but then I can. My family laugh at me when I tell them to get a move on. They cannot quite get used to the idea of me walking at a faster pace, they have got used to walking slowly with me and now they are having to speed up. They all complain that their legs are aching, but my legs want to just carry on and on. I think my legs are enjoying the novelty of it!
Just ambling and enjoying the views
Sunshine in the orangery
We wander back to the cafe and shop and I reckon I've now managed to walk nearly four kilometres without a rest or sit down. I still feel I've got energy for more, I can't quite believe I'm able to do this so soon - just four and a half months post heart and double lung transplant.
I always had a dream while I waited for my transplant that I would be able to don my walking boots and walk around Tarn Hows in the Lake District once again, just like I used to do. This dream kept me going while I waited the long hard wait for my transplant. After my transplant when I felt weak and was struggling at times, this dream drove me on every time the physio came to see me in hospital and I really only wanted to curl up in bed and rest: to get my dream I knew I had to put a false smile on my face and do what I was told instead. This dream drove me on when I first came home and wanted to lie on the settee and rest away the trauma of the transplant: I knew I had to try and get on that exercise bike and keep practising walking if I was to get there.
I know this dream is about to come true now. I just need to wait for the weather to improve and the gales to stop so we can actually get to the Lake District at last: it will then be, 'Tarn Hows here I come with my walking boots and all!' I will be living my dream.
Transplant changes lives and makes dreams come true!
Statues in the sky