A Long Walk

As I was walking through the sea of people on Oxford Street today, it struck me just how far I’d come in the Walking Stakes. It also put me in mind of the different ways I trained myself to get to grips with the whole walking-thing. So I thought I’d add a few walking tips to The Bag of Tricks…I hope they help…

  • The Treadmill When I was back on my feet long enough to make it from room to room, but still not confident enough to leave the house without The Chair, I hit on the idea of getting a treadmiill. I bought a really cheap one from Argos and my dad set in up in our living room. The great thing about it was that I was able to walk for as long as I could without having to panic about not being able to walk back again and getting stuck somewhere. I could track how long I was able to comfortably walk for distance-wise, that way when I did try and do it outside I knew mentally that I’d be able to cope.
  • The Pedometer really handy for when I started to walk distances outside. I’d Google how much an average person walked a day and then try and copy (it would take me hours at first but I got a real sense of achievement from feeling “normal” again.)
  • Landmarks etc I used to set myself different goals as I grew in confidence, I’d take off the pedometer in this case as it was more about feeling independent than the actual distance. Plus when trying something new that feels a bit scary, psychologically it felt detrimental to know exactly how far I was from where I lived or deemed “safe” So stuff like walking until I couldn’t see my house anymore, or walking around the block-right up to getting on a bus (try it one stop at a time) walking from on end of a shopping centre to another (do it somewhere you know the layout to very well otherwise it can be a little too stressful).
  • ipod Sounds of people and traffic etc can be a bit overwhelming when you have been housebound for a long time, so playing your favourite music whilst practising walking can provide a lot of reassurance. Be careful of traffic though-I promise it moves way faster than you remember, so keep it off-road until you’re used to the moving objects again…

I’ll leave you with these for now, but I’ll add more at a later date. If you have used methods that are better please let me know!

I will say this though-one thing I wish I’d done more was practice walking whilst talking to other people. This probably sounds really strange but all of the above I did on my own as I wanted my independence back so badly-so even now having been walking well for over a year I can honestly say I still struggle to walk and talk to people at the same time. So there you go-learn from my mistakes people! ooh and ask Santa for a Treadmill and a Pedometer from Christmas if you haven’t got either yet…

Happy Walking



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