I took a friend out for a meal on Saturday because it was her "21st" birthday so we went to the Housemartin and had a scrummy meal, and I treated myself to one of their mini-puddings, a chocolate mouse ... sorry mousse. The car wasn't far from the door of the pub but I was a bit stiff so I took one walking pole with me and propped it in the corner when I sat down. By the time we had finished and chatted for a while I was concentrating so much on the fact that the chair was a bit hard on my bum, and the car was by the door I managed to walk out, leaving the pole behind. I didn't go out yesterday and I only realised when I had to walk some distance from the parking space to the blood test area in the local hospital that I was a pole short.
Luckily I have three sets of walking poles these days, one to keep at home, one in the car and one pair to keep at work. I ended up with three because I once went away for a few days and left my poles behind and I had to get another pair, though I ended up getting two pairs as they were so cheap. As I don't have a set place from which to work at the moment I have two sets of poles in the car so it wasn't too much of a problem. The Housemartin just got back to me to say that they have my pole, which will be a good excuse to pop in for another chocolate mouse!
These days I use a stick, or two, when I walk any distance outside because I can be a bit unsteady on the old pins and it stops me looking like a drunk lurching around the place. It is also a matter of confidence because there are days when I know that I will need them to get home. At first it was difficult to admit that I needed a walking aid of some sort because, damn it, I'm only 52 years old! When I look at what I used to be able to do ... but that was then, and this is now. I could probably get one of those mobility scooters and scoot around town knocking children and the elderly flying in all directions, run over the paw of a dog or two and end up in the police station sober in charge of a scooter! But I will save that for the future. I have to have some ambitions left in life, something to look forward to. Like waiting to be old enough to drive, but in my case old enough to scoot.
For me it is important that I still get out and walk because weight bearing exercise does actually help to strengthen my bones. There is also some rather wonderful about being out on a lovely warm day with just the right amount of breeze and being able to watch the sky changing as the clouds form and reform into different shapes. I even like the days when the sky goes a blueish gray and the wind comes up and you know that it is seriously thinking about raining. Will I make it home in time? Will the clouds get blown out to leave a blue sky? Will I get wet. I don't mind being out in the rain. I am English, so I am used to this but if I am going to get wet I want to get properly wet and not just a bit damp. Getting a bit damp leaves you with the quandry as to whether to change clothes when you get home, or will you dry out quite quickly ... decisions, decisions!
I also have a trusty Troll. It is a pull along trolley which answers to the name of Troll who accompanies my on some of my trips into town. I found I couldn't carry a heavy backpack any more, so this was another way of being able to do my shopping and being environmentally friendly whilst getting some exercise. Troll anchors me nicely, but means that I can only use one pole. Compromises have to be made to maintain my mobility and my independence, and it has the added bonus of being good for the environment. An all round winner in my book.