Sunday, 12 June 2016

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible

Six months ago I wasn't sure when I would be writing another blog.

The year began with a plan to continue my monthly adventures and try and get a few mates involved where possible.  First week of the year I made a conscious effort to reserve a weekend a month and got some positive responses to a plan to get to the Keswick Mountain Festival (booked tickets), a trip to Brecon etc.

I was chuffed when the year started with a get together with some like minded people in the woods on the second weekend in January  Arrived with tarp and hammock and lots of good intent.  Pushing a tent peg in to the ground my hands slipped and I jarred my back badly.  It hurt.  Over the next couple of hours it started to hurt more.  Then it hurt so badly I made the tough decision to go home.  After a pretty sleepless night on the living room floor with no position relieving the pain I realised I had hurt my back quite badly.   The next couple of months are a bit of a blur of very strong pain killers, MRI scans showing a badly prolapsed disc, lengthy waits to see consultants and hardly being able to sleep let alone walk further than the local shops.

I have to confess to feeling a bit of a fraud.  A lot of online research highlighted how many people endure long term chronic pain.  When you see others much worse off than you there is a temptation to dismiss your own discomfort.  I did that, soldiered on like there wasn't any issue and set myself back a couple of times as a result.  Only after being in absolute agony after pushing myself too hard did I get to a point where I accepted that whilst not as bad as many I still had a serious injury, had to give it time to heal and live life accordingly.  In the early stages not knowing how long that would take was really frustrating.  However once I'd accepted I could take things easy and accept some ambiguity on when I would be fully fit things got easier.  Part of that involved accepting advice and support from others, including some very capable physios.

So, with time, proper professional support and a positive but sensible mindset late May saw me fit (and confident) enough to have the first, somewhat delayed, multi person adventure of the year.  Well, less of an  adventure and more of a really pleasant weekend away at the Keswick Mountain Festival.   This was great long weekend with the opportunity to try new activities, get some walking and have access to a site with lots of adventure travel and advice and music in the evening.  All set in a magnificent environment.

Build your own canoe with ORCA

Lakeside Art
The best festival backdrop in the UK

Castlerigg Stone Circle

'Moonlit' canoeing
Dust on the lens - makes a good pic though!

June has seen a two day Canoe trip exploring a bit of the Brecon and Monmouthshire canal.  Camping near Crickhowell we got to see some beautiful scenery and had a bit of a taste of what else the area had to offer.  I suspect Ill be updating on other adventures in the area soon!

Not the busiest waterway in the world
Civilised lunch

A bit of history

The year began with a degree of uncertainty.  Things are now back on track.  If I can reflect on anything from the last six months its that when things go wrong they will probably get better and sometimes you have to roll with the punches.  Also that there is always a risk that normal service will not be resumed soon or sometimes at all.  So make the most of now.

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