million Steps – day 36 – ups and downs


Today finds me once again in the Welsh hills and it is a warm and sunny morning.  Walking along the sea front I am regretting wearing my leggings, it is far too warm.  I love the sea, but today there is no wind and for once the three mile walk is too hot to be comfortable.

Back at base and hubby is up and about.  We chat about how to spend the rest of the day.  Perhaps another walk?  There are some new circular routes I want to try, but hubby is not convinced.  I suggest the Great Orme, and he says this is a great idea.

For those not familiar with the North Wales landscape the Great and Little Ormes  are hills that sit opposite each other either side of the bay at Llandudno.  The Great Orme being the biggest has a railway and cable cars to take you to the summit.  We decided to try and walk up there.

We walk up a passageway and at the top there is a choice of which way to walk.  We plump for the Invalids Walk, surely that won’t be too difficult.  It isn’t at all but we seem to be walking away from the summit.  We find a path heading up but after a short while we abandon it, the steep drops and uneven ground are not for me.

Heading back we pick up the road and head uphill.  To say the road is steep is not doing it justice.  It is very, very steep.  It is still warm and sunny and soon we are very hot indeed.  We pause for breath and talk about giving up, walking back down to the sea front and getting an ice cream perhaps.  Hubby and I are more determined than that and begin to climb again.  Steeper and steeper, this is not an easy walk, and yet when we pause to look behind up the view is amazing.  Encouraged we continue.  Eventually the road flattens out and we follow grassy paths up towards the top.  By now we are feeling a little bit full of ourselves and are looking on those driving to the top with disdain.

Another couple of stops, this time for photos, not to get our breath back, and we are at the summit.  The views from here are stunning, we can see for miles and miles.  We stop to purchase our ice cream and sit enjoying the view.  How quickly we have forgotten the strain of those first hills, how good do we feel? this is a real achievement.  I am reminded of how life used to be.  When I wouldn’t dare walk far at all as the pains in my joints could at times seize up completely.  Now here I am walking up the Great Orme!!

Ice cream and self-congratulations finished we set off around the summit and begin to climb down. The view on the other side is of a vast expanse of the Irish Sea, and below us we can see the remains of an ancient village on the side of the hill.  I begin to wonder about the families that lived here, it must have been a hard life.

As we wend our way down the grassy paths, we are in great spirits.  Tired, obviously, but buoyed by our determination not to give up and our success on reaching the top.  I find downhill hard on my knees but with my hubby to hold my hand anything is possible.

It makes me think of the life we have built together, how we have faced really tricky times, times when it would have been so easy to give up, and yet we didn’t.  Together we made it through.  In fact life has been just like our walk today.  Times when progress was slow, when we needed to stop and breathe, to make decisions, do we carry on or change our route? Times when I was too tired and sore to move, and times when the sun has been on our backs and life is good.

It seems to me that we are not only defined by what we achieve, but we also defined by what we try to achieve, and what we learn along the way.

Eventually we are back in town and we decide to treat ourselves to fish and chips. As we sit in the late afternoon sunshine, we decide that this has been a wonderful day.  I am once again thankful to Diabetes UK for giving me the motivation to move, and to my hubby for always walking by my side throughout all our ups and downs.

Today I added over 21,000 steps to my total, the million is firmly in sight. Tomorrow I may rest awhile.

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