Rest, and be thankful

I was wasting some time on the Web the other day I cam across a comment from someone suffering from sciatica as a result of two prolapsed discs.

Regular readers will know that I too suffer from this knuckle-biting ailment and, in the past, it’s been a source of profound misery.

However, clearly in some discomfort, this chap used an amusing turn of phrase to describe his condition, amounting to ‘it hurting so much that it feels like my arse is broken’.

I liked this… I liked it very much.

Although I can well imagine the pain and frustration this fellow was enduring, his expression ably hinted at the ridiculous sense of helplessness that can result and, though a keen sense of laconic humour, that things can and do get better.

I’m pleased to say that I am now enjoying a protracted good patch. I’m gingerly riding the bike as often as possible and my lower spine feels strong.

This, by and large, is thanks to my fabulous physiotherapist and hours listening to Radio Four while working through my routine of exercises… anyone fancy the ‘man looking up at the sun while simultaneously blocking its rays with his hand’ to stretch back and hip flexors?

But this comment also got me thinking about Andy Stothert’s excellent article ‘Keeping the Faith’ in the September issue of TGO.

Having endured illness and pain that has rocked his self-reliance on the hill, Sothert ventures out only to meet a fellow walker in a seemingly worse state than he.

Despite this, the walker was managing to reap a rich experience in the hills and the author captured an excellent photograph of his companion descending into cloud on a Lakeland ridge.

I too have felt this crisis of confidence, and this article inspired me.

So, assuming the gods of hill walking are smiling on me this weekend, I’m going to get of my broken arse and get into the hills proper with pack and tent.

Life is, after all, too short.

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