Category Archives: Walking

New Morning Walk

For what seems like the first time in ages I managed to get up and force myself out for a walk this morning.  It was a 5am start and a short walk of just 8.6 miles in just a little over 2 hours.

My calf muscle injuries of last year seem to have cleared up, I can still feel them being a little stiff, but the muscle tears that I had are no way near as painful as they were 18 months ago.  I wan’t as fast as I used to be, but it was worth it.

And although the sun rise was early this morning, I just managed to get to the lake as it came up.

Sunrise 21/5 no 1

Sunrise 21/5 no 1

Sunrise 21/5 no 2

Sunrise 21/5 no 2

Sunrise 21/5 no 3

Sunrise 21/5 no 3

Sunrise 21/5 no 4

Sunrise 21/5 no 4

Sunrise 21/5 no 5

Sunrise 21/5 no 5

Sunrise 21/5 no 6

Sunrise 21/5 no 6

Hopefully this is the start of a regular routine, just like it used to be, not just another false start.  I feel I am going to ache in the morning, but hopefully I can get five miles in before work!!!

WALK by FOO FIGHTERS
A million miles away
Your signal in the distance
To whom it may concern
I think I lost my way
Getting good at starting over
Every time that I return

I’m learning to walk again
I believe I’ve waited long enough
Where do I begin?
I’m learning to talk again
Can’t you see I’ve waited long enough?
Where do I begin?

Do you remember the days
We built these paper mountains
And sat and watched them burn?
I think I found my place
Can’t you feel it growing stronger?
Little conquerors

I’m learning to walk again
I believe I’ve waited long enough
Where do I begin?
I’m learning to talk again
I believe I’ve waited long enough
Where do I begin?

Now
For the very first time
Don’t you pay no mind?
Set me free again
You keep alive a moment at a time
But still inside a whisper to a riot
To sacrifice but knowing to survive
The first decline another state of mind
I’m on my knees, I’m praying for a sign
Forever, whenever
I never wanna die
I never wanna die
I never wanna die
I’m on my knees
I never wanna die
I’m dancing on my grave
I’m running through the fire
Forever, whatever
I never wanna die
I never wanna leave
I’ll never say goodbye
Forever, whatever
Forever, whatever

I’m learning to walk again
I believe I’ve waited long enough
Where do I begin?
I’m learning to talk again
Can’t you see I’ve waited long enough?
Where do I begin?

I’m learning to walk again
I believe I’ve waited long enough
I’m learning to talk again
Can’t you see I’ve waited long enough?

 

Walking On Lego

It was my first day back at work in over 11 days, I must say it took some getting up this morning when the alarm went off, my body just didn’t want to get up and my mind seemed to be in agreement.

As I walked to work this morning, I was surprised how good I felt, there was only a dull ache in my heel, unfortunately that didn’t last as the day wore on.

I’ve had this pain in my left heel for almost seven months now, after a three hour training session last November, the pain went from dull ache and occasional sharp pain to all out sharp pain, the only way I can describe it is like continually walking on a piece of lego.

Those who have kids will probably know what that’s like, that moment when you tread on a piece of lego or any other small sharp toy, you will know that pain the bottom of the foot, it’s an occupational hazard when you have young kids.

After that training session it was like I had that piece of lego in my shoe, every footstep was a sharp pain.  So I had two choices, see the Doctor to see what they recommend or just pay for physio, so I booked a physio session.  I had seen this guy a number of years ago about a torn muscle I had in my back, he sorted it out back then, so I was confident he could get to the bottom of the problem this time around.

I booked in but had to wait a number of weeks to get an appointment, that was a couple of weeks before Christmas, what I found out was that is wasn’t my heel that was injured or the bottom of the foot, it wasn’t the ankle, but it turned out to be a torn calf muscle!

He said it had been done some time ago, but it had failed to heal properly, instead the muscle fibres had knotted, because of this the muscle was tightening and shortening which in turn was stretching the Achilles tendon, causing the pain in the heel.

I can only think that I tore this muscle walking in preparation for coming out of retirement for the National’s back in June.  I’m a kind of all or nothing sort of guy, instead of slowly getting back into training and building up, I just jump in and go for it where I left of, the pain started during that training, so I have carried the injury since then.

I have a certain stretch to do everyday, designed to stretch out this muscle, but this hurts to do and aggravates the heel, but when I went back to physio last week, I was reprimanded for not doing enough.

So far I have had two lots of treatment and am already booked in for another, it doesn’t seem like a quick fix like I had before with the back muscle, this one is way more complicated.

If I’m up on my feet it’s not to bad, if I’m moving around it’s generally okay, just the dull ache that very rarely goes away, but I’ve managed to tune out to that.  If I sit down for just a couple of minutes and then get back up, then the pain returns immediately, it pulls on the heel really hard, so I hobble about for a while.

This morning I thought everything was fine, at work I managed to stretch the calf whilst I was up and about, but that just aggravates the problem for a while as it’s stretching it out and the pain returned for most of the day.

The physio said until this is fully stretched out, so the stretching no longer hurts and the muscle doesn’t hurt when he works it, we cannot move on to strengthening the calf, so the stretches have to stay and I suppose for the time being the pain has to stay, but hopefully it gradually fades away as each day passes.

I really want to get out walking again in the mornings, but until this problem is sorted I can’t do that.  My plan is compete again this year, so I want to get ready with months to go, not weeks this time, so the sooner I can move forward the better, but for the time being, I just keep going with the painful stretching and wait to see what the next physio session is like in two weeks.

So for now, I have to keep walking with that piece of lego in my shoe!!!

INVINCIBLE by HEDLEY
Took a long hard look at my life
Lost my way while I was fighting the time
A big black cloud, stormy sky
Followed me while I was living a lie
So heartless, so selfish, so in darkness
When all your nights are starless
You’re running outta hope

But I found the strength inside to see
Found the better part of me
And I’ll never let it go

I’ve come a long, long way
Made a lot of mistakes
But I’m breathing, breathing
That’s right
And I mean it, mean it
This time
I’m a little run down
I’ve been living out loud
I can beat it, beat it
That’s right
’cause I’m feeling, feeling
Invincible
Whoa-oh-oh-oh [x3]

When you’re gone for a day on your own
Tear your heart out just to find your way home
I’ve been so high, I’ve sunk so low
I’ve come so far with nothing to show
For it mistaken, I got so good at taking
But now I’m tired of faking
This story’s getting old

So I found the strength inside to see
From the better part of me
And I’ll never let it go

I’ve come a long, long way
Made a lot of mistakes
But I’m breathing, breathing
That’s right
And I mean it, mean it
This time
I’m a little run down
I’ve been living out loud
I can beat it, beat it
That’s right
’cause I’m feeling, feeling
Invincible
Whoa-oh-oh-oh [x3]
Invincible

I’m not the only one
To crash into the sun and live to fight another day
Like a super nova, that old life is over
I’m here to stay

Now I’m gonna be
Invincible
Whoa-oh-oh-oh [x3]
Invincible

I’ve come a long, long way
Made a lot of mistakes
But I’m breathing, breathing
That’s right
And I mean it, mean it
This time
I’m a little run down
I’ve been living out loud
I can beat it, beat it
That’s right
’cause I’m feeling, feeling
Invincible
Whoa-oh-oh-oh [x3]
Invincible.
Whoa-oh-oh-oh [x3]
Invincible

Three Years Of Blogging – Where Has The Time Gone?

It seems hard to believe that it’s three years to the days since I set up this blog and posted that first post, 9.19pm, 6th October 2012, where has that time gone?

It’s safe to say I didn’t know what to expect when I started this, what it would be that I would find from it or where it would take me.  I’m not a writer, I never have been, I hated it at school, in my English classes in High School, most of my course work went unfinished and if I did finish it, it was usually the least I could do to get away with completing it, I hated writing and don’t get me started on my views of poetry back then.

It’s funny how things change you, I never believed I had a talent for writing when I started this, not that I do now to be honest, but something in that challenge I was faced with made me look inside and find something I never knew was there.

I’m not an eloquent person, I struggle to express myself at times, I am naturally quite shy and introvert, my personal feelings are mine and they stay that way.  But over the few months before I started this I had began to face those natural tendencies to keep everything hidden inside.  When I came to God earlier that year I had a choice, keep hiding and keep suffering or be open, let it out and find my healing.  I began to tell my story to people and find a way to deal with the internal pain of the situation I had found myself in.  Then when I started journaling I found another way to express myself, although only I read back my journals, they are my personal feelings, I found it a great release and a great way to become accountable to someone and something, even if at that point it was only myself.

Then I felt that challenge, that challenge from God to begin this blog, to tell my story and express myself.  It became another way to find healing and another way to make myself accountable, not only now to myself, but also to the great people who have taken the time to read, like and even comment on my writings, from people who have shared similar journeys into depression or alcoholism or others just followers of Christ who support and encourage, it’s been a great experience and I hope it continues to be that way.

My current series of posting daily poems based upon bible verses is still set to run until the end of the year.  I set out to do this at the end of last year, I choose seven verses at random every Sunday evening and as the next week passes I write and post a poem based on one verse each day.  Some days I may write two, three or sometimes four and then schedule them over the coming days, other times I write them each evening, based on my feelings that day.  Some weeks I link all seven, telling a story or they form a conversation with God through poem as the week goes on, each one different and unique, each one mine.

I love the feedback I get when I see a comment that says “I needed to read this today”, as some days I am not sure who I am writing for, I just feel compelled to write, I look at the verse and just start writing, if I have to think about what to write it feels wrong, if I write and it just flows, then it’s what I am supposed to write, I may not know why or understand where it comes from, but I know if I write that way, it’s spirit led, to get positive feedback is the icing on the cake, I just wish sometimes I had more time to respond and comment back.

The long and the short of it is, I’ll continue to write, as long as someone continues to read it.  I was planning on just keeping this poetry series until the end of the year, but I now feel I may do it all again next year, just keep picking verses and writing a poem based on them, what do you all think?

On another note, I started walking again last week, well for two days I did anyway, the first day my new trainers took the skin off my heel and then on the second day they did it again, this time turning my trainer into a bloodbath, it was a bit of a mess and still hasn’t healed properly a week later, although I did get out at the weekend.  Hopefully I’ll get out again this week, I really enjoyed walking again, there’s nobody else about at that time in the morning, great time for thinking and talking with God, my headphones in and my praise music on, I sing along out loud, there’s no one around and nobody hears me or at least I hope not!

The weather hasn’t been that great, but I did catch a few good sun rises over the last few weeks, mainly on my way to work, below I share the best of them.

Band Of Gold

Band Of Gold

Breaking

Breaking

Between Morning Clouds

Between Morning Clouds

Beyond

Beyond

Golden Reflection

Golden Reflection

Across The Morning Sky

Across The Morning Sky

Morning Highlighted

Morning Highlighted

I have a few plans for more writing over the next few months, firstly I want to bring the “My Testimony” section up to date, I covered as far as New Year 2014, so I have the last couple of years to bring it up to now, I intend to finish that and then start on a new series which chronicles my whole karate career, starting from my first class in October 1980 (thirty five years ago this month) to coming out of retirement in this year’s National Championships. It’s not your usual story of a karate instructor or as dramatic as the Karate Kid, but it been such a big part of my life, 35 of my 41 years, that it has shaped parts of my life and who I am, I’m looking forward to writing that.

But for now, I just thank you all for reading my ramblings, thank you for following, for liking and your encouraging comments, believe me, I may not respond all the time, but I read and appreciate them all, so thank you all once again.

This is the song where it all started, this is the song I was listening to when I felt that pull from God to tell my story and start this blog, this song reduced me to tears on the morning of 6th October 2012, it started this journey into the unknown and I am so glad it did.

THE PRECIPICE by THE CLASSIC CRIME
I wish I could play the violin
I’d play ’til tears roll down your cheek and chin
And if you sang along
We could write the saddest song

Sometimes I indulge my every whim
And piece by piece I build the cell i’m in
But I only stay here long
Enough to write the saddest song

I dreamt I stood on a hill
That I wisedh was a mountain
To look back on all my accomplishments
Well they must have been small
‘Cause I couldn’t seem to find them
So I took a leap off of the precipice

I wish I could play piano well
I’d hit the keys that made your spirit swell
And if you sang along
We could write the saddest song

I dreamt I stood on a hill
That I wished was a mountain
To look back on all my accomplishments
Well they must have been small
Because I couldn’t seem to find them
So I took a leap off of the precipice

Whatever the cost, whether it works out or not
Whatever the cost, whether it works out or not
I’ll follow you, I’ll follow you
I’ll follow you with my heart

Whatever the cost, whether it works out or not
Whatever the cost, whether it works out or not
I’ll follow you, I’ll follow you
I’ll follow you with my heart

I dreamt I stood on a hill
That I wished was a mountain
To look back on all my accomplishments
Well they must have been small
Because I couldn’t seem to find them
So I took a leap off of the precipice

The Walk

The Walk

I took a walk
You called me out
As the sun rose
Beyond my horizons

I stepped on
Hand in hand with Your word
We journeyed
You spoke

Though the skin of my feet
Was torn, blooded and in shreds
I pushed on
Up the hill I faced

My legs burning
Yet on I pushed
None of this mattered
Just Your words

Because this I know
The pain that You lifted
Always outweighs
The pain inflicted

 

New Journal, New Steps

For the last two weeks, I’ve been getting up every morning and getting out walking again, it been amazing, everyday seems to have a better balance to it if I get out, I get my worship music on and just walk.  I have chance to get everything that’s on my mind reasoned through and submitted it God if I am unable to deal with it.

The morning I started walking again came the same day as I started a new journal.  The previous night I had completed the last page in a journal that started about year ago, just after I came off the anti-depressant medication, over the last few months nearly every page of that book I found myself moaning about how I longed to get walking again, but just couldn’t bring myself to do it each morning, it was excuse after excuse and I was fed up with myself.  I knew I was a better person and life was better when I was walking before,  I knew I had to get back to that in order to progress again, but I just kept falling back on the same excuse, I’m just too tired.

But that Friday night I closed that book, I complained to myself one last time and closed the page, the next morning, the alarm sounded and I got up and went straight out and started walking again.

I have to say the weather has been good in general, I have had one morning where it was drizzling, that didn’t stop me, but there was one morning where it was absolutely bucketing it down, needless to say I gave that morning a miss, but I wasn’t hung on it, it was a one off and it’s staying that way.

I guess it’s been an eighteen month journey from those dark days of the onset of depression, those nights where I prayed not to wake in the morning, because I didn’t want to live if I felt that way, nights where I found myself writing out my most desperate prayers in the early hours of the morning, asking for all that darkness to be taken away, then to later in the morning write a reply where I felt God say:

“I CAN’T TAKE IT FROM YOU, BUT I WILL WALK THROUGH IT WITH YOU”

Sometimes we just have to go through these things, at the time it hard to understand why, but now I understand, now I know why I had to go through it and keep holding on to God, at the time you think you are the only one who has been there and felt that way, but I know I am not and that others have and others will go through similar times and I know I can be there to help someone else when they go through it too.

Over the last few months this song has been on almost continuous repeat on my iPod, it’s my constant reminder to declare:

I’M NO LONGER A SLAVE TO FEAR, I AM A CHILD OF GOD

NO LONGER SLAVES by BETHEL MUSIC
You unravel me, with a melody
You surround me with a song
Of deliverance, from my enemies
Till all my fears are gone

I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God
I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God

From my mothers womb
You have chosen me
Love has called my name
I’ve been born again, into your family
Your blood flows through my veins

I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God
I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God
I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God
I’m no longer a slave to fear
I am a child of God

I am surrounded
By the arms of the father
I am surrounded
By songs of deliverance

We’ve been liberated
From our bondage
We’re the sons and the daughters
Let us sing our freedom

You split the sea
So I could walk right through it
All my fears were drowned in perfect love
You rescued me
So I could stand and sing
I am child of God

Walking Once Again

After a number of false starts over the last month or so, I managed to get out walking again, both yesterday morning and this morning.  I started yesterday with a brisk 8½ mile walk, after all I had to be at work at 8am.  This morning I pushed it a little bit and went for just over fourteen miles, I went on a little further than the bridge I found a few weeks ago and came across a new set of lakes.  The last time I walked that far, which was almost five years ago, these lakes were gravel pits which were still being worked, at some point they have obviously been turned into a set of small lakes, which sit in a really peaceful setting.  I would have liked to have stayed there longer than I did, but I had to get back to be at Church, with a seven mile walk home I was pushing it to get back, showered and back out, but I made it.

I’m hoping this isn’t just another false start and when I wake in the morning I give in to the excuses as to why I can’t spend the time walking with God as I used to.  When I get out I really enjoy it and I feel refreshed after a walk, yet when I wake I convince myself I’m too tired.  So here’s hoping it’s a new breakthrough and I can get back into the routine which was so good for me.

Morning Swim

Morning Swim

From Between

From Between

Reflections

Reflections

In Peace

In Peace

Breaking

Breaking

Light Beneath The Bridge

Light Beneath The Bridge

I found myself singing out load to this song on the way home, I found this live version, which is just as powerful as the studio version.

LOVE AMAZING by CIRCLESLIDE
Before the sun awakes the morning
Your face I see
Your gentle Eyes are full of mercy
And Love Amazing
And Love Amazing

I’ll rejoice
While my heart aches
I’ll rejoice
My God will save
All my needs have been replaced
With Love Amazing
With Love Amazing

Every day brings new redemption
For all my scars
I’m lavished with complete forgiveness
Reaching above the stars
Reaching over the stars

I’ll rejoice
While my heart aches
I’ll rejoice
My God will save
All my needs have been replaced
With Love Amazing
With Love Amazing

The sentence meant for me
You came and took my place
You turned death’s tragedy
Into a rescue by Your grace
And how it comforts me
To declare Your Love Amazing
Your Love’s Amazing

I’ll rejoice
While my heart aches
I’ll rejoice
My God will save
All my needs have been replaced
With Love Amazing
With Love Amazing

Finding The Green Fields Once Again

About a month ago I got off to a bit of a false start in terms of getting out each morning and walking as the sun rises.  At one time I was out every morning, regardless of the weather, the days when I walked seemed to have far more balance to them, then about two years ago it started to get a little sporadic, until eventually I stopped before slipping into a period of dark depression.

Over the last couple of years I’ve tried many a time to get out again.  Just like a month ago it starts out alright for a few days, but somehow I find an excuse to miss a day, then two, then three and so on and so on.  Last month it lasted just short of a week and then due to being busy with work, I decided I was too tired and caved in each morning.  But each night I would berate myself in my journal for not getting out, I would promise myself I would get out again the next morning, but it never happened and the cycle carried on.  This morning though, the alarm went of and there was no deliberation, within ten minutes I was out the house walking.

My plan was to walk the cycle track, which is about four miles long and then return, it a total walk of around eight and half miles, in around two hours, on the way I would just make it to the lake as the sun rises.

Blue Skies

Blue Skies

Hidden

Hidden

Beyond

Beyond

Over The Green Fields

Over The Green Fields

Before The Clouds

Before The Clouds

As I got to the end of the track, which up to the point where I turn around is tarmac, I noticed that the dirt path which continues for another few miles had been cut back, over recent years it has been overgrown, last time I attempted to walk it was almost three years ago, but it was so overgrown I couldn’t get through.  I walked it about five years ago and remember coming across a peaceful little spot where a small stream runs under a bridge, I’ve wanted to find it again so many times, but as I say the last time I tried it was impossible.

This morning for some reason, I just carried on, without even thinking I found myself walking the small path, until I found the bridge right at the end of the path, after the bridge it is still overgrown, but I wasn’t bothered about that, I had found what I wanted.

The Stream

The Stream

The Bridge

The Bridge

It’s Bank Holiday Monday tomorrow and I am not working this one, so all being well I intend to walk it again in the morning, although my aching hips may have something to say about that!!!

This morning I wrote “Green Fields”, I felt it was an answer to my prayers, to get up again and get out walking, I feel I have drifted a little for long enough, keeping some of the routines that help me along the way in this recovery, but abandoning others, like the daily walking.

There is a cheeky reference in there from a classic song, not sure whether anyone can spot it, there a clue included in the title too.

MERCY TREE by LACEY STURM
On a hill called Calvary
Stands an endless mercy tree
Every broke and weary soul
Find your rest and be made whole

Stripes of blood that stain its frame
Shed to wash away our shame
From the scars pure love released
Salvation brought the mercy tree

In the sky, between two thieves
Hung the blameless Prince of Peace
Bruised and battered, scarred and scorned
Sacred Hands pierced by our thorns

It is finished was his cry
The perfect Lamb was crucified
The sacrifice, our victory.
Our Savior chose the mercy tree

Hope went dark that violent day
The whole earth ‘quaked at love’s display
Three days silence in the ground
This body born for Heaven’s crown

On that bright and glorious day
Heaven opened up the grave
He’s alive and risen indeed
Praise him for the mercy tree

Death has died. Love has won!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ has overcome.
He has risen from the dead.

Death has died. Love has won!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ has overcome.
He has risen from the dead.

One day soon we’ll see His face
And every tear, He’ll wipe a way
No more pain or suffering
Oh, praise him for the mercy tree

Death has died. Love has won!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ has overcome.
He has risen from the dead.

Death has died. Love has won!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Jesus Christ has overcome.
He has risen from the dead.

On a hill called Calvary
Stands an endless mercy tree