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Life Chez Dee Episode #14: Its good to walk

I’ve just been for another walk today … you might even be able to call me a “Nordic walker” now.

I only messaged Bart to say I was going this morning, as I wasn’t sure I’d be there at all. I had such a shocking day yesterday …. a complete write off … well most of the day was at least.

I hardly ever get headaches … but yesterday I woke with a bit of a nagging one … didn’t really pay it much heed – went on the school run, had lots of water to drink, but by the time I got back home I could barely see, barely think, really didn’t know what to do with myself.

I’ve known many friends who’ve suffered with migraines, but my goodness, until you’ve had one, you really have no idea … or I didn’t. The pain was excruciating, the sickness debilitating; and indeed the fog afterwards left me feeling battered and exhausted.

This morning I felt fine … I really don’t know how, since I didn’t have a very good night’s sleep either, being disturbed by the noise from my teenager staying up til the early hours gaming, chatting loudly with friends. No sign of said teenager this morning, I leave him sleeping – go on the school run – and go for a walk … I needed to be outside in the fresh air … I knew it would do me good.

So glad I did. I’m really enjoying the walking; I’m really enjoying that it doesn’t feel like you’re working hard, and yet it feels like you've worked hard afterwards. It feels pleasant, and it's an energising start to the day ...and it’s very sociable too, as there are so many lovely people to chat to should you wish.

Today I chatted with Sandy, who has lived in Lytham for over 30 years. Neither of us can believe that our walk is taking us on paths we didn’t even know existed. But I suppose if we don't have reason to, if we don't go on dog walks, or have any other reason to be there, we wouldn’t necessarily know about them. And what a pleasant discovery it has been.

We set of today from Booths car park in Lytham – we walk past Edward’s Garden, which is looking glorious. The flowers that Edward’s Garden TEAM planted are now all blooming and it has transformed that corner of Lytham to a beautiful “haven” … funny that it’s on the corner of Haven Road.

We walk to the sea front, the sun is shining, we walk at quite a brisk pace – Bart checks I’m ok as he knows I’ve not been feeling great. I go for rigid poles today. As I’ve been under the weather he doesn’t want to push me too much with the bungy poles. I’ll still get a good walk and a good workout with rigid poles; and I did … I felt like I was flying with them. I’ve got “go fast” cheetah patterns on my poles today – I wonder if they’re the same ones that Ewa used when she did her Grasmere Gallop #forEdward … she was definitely flying that day.

We pause to do a few warm up exercises on the mussel beds before setting off towards the old Land Registry Building, on to the Quays and to the footpath along the water’s edge. It was beautiful. The time flies by … myself and Sandy (and Bart, for a time) chat about all manner of things, from pilates, exercise classes and instructor training; we talk about Nordic walking; and about discovering places we didn’t know about; we talk about family; we talk about Edward and the charity (as she didn’t know, and was very interested in hearing about what happened and all the work, the projects, the awareness raising being done in Edward’s name).

It feels like we’ve been out minutes rather than an hour; we do some cool down exercises on Lytham Green before heading back to the car park. We focus on our breathing; we focus on our senses … Bart tells us to think of the taste of garlic; the touch and the sound of playing the piano; the lady in the red dress playing the piano … trying to engage with all our senses … I’m not going to analyse why we’re thinking of a lady in red on the piano … I just focus on why we’re doing this, which is to focus our mind and use our senses to ground us rather than us concentrating on all sorts of niggles and problems we don’t need to focus on.

We wander back to the car; some go for a drink in Booths; others go off to do whatever they need to do.

All the walks I have been on so far have been really enjoyable, energising, uplifting and sociable; they’ve been calming too, have given me headspace and an all round sense of wellbeing. I’m looking at more things, noticing more things. Walking, however fast, slows you down; it makes you appreciate the here and now; and being outside puts you close up with nature; it makes you notice and appreciate the simple things in life. I know I could go for a walk by myself, but I don’t think I would; and I certainly wouldn’t push myself to fit in an hour’s down time if I didn’t have a group to walk with; and I certainly wouldn’t push myself to go for a walk on a wet day, if I didn’t have this group to go with. And I wouldn’t have met the lovely people I have, or had the pleasure of their company and conversation. No doubt the conversations will continue with ease as our paths cross again, and as we discover new pathways to walk. I’m so glad I discovered this walking group, and really can’t recommend it enough.

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