Hello friends. I know it has been a while so apologies for the lack of brain waves filling your lives recently (although I know you have all been far too busy making the most of the pubs reopening to notice so all is good).
Thankfully I am now rid of Bill the Boot-that was just a ridiculously long ordeal which I am very pleased to be past-who knew a fractured foot which I didn’t even feel, or see on the scan, would occupy so much of my time – just greedy really. I will be forever grateful for all of your support during my Brownie Bakeathon to keep me sane as well as raise an incredible amount of money for such a worthy cause, (raising £7,200 for Scope helped put spring in my broken step!
Getting rid of Bill meant one thing after a tonne of physio (actually only 4 weeks but it felt like an eternity)……. I WAS ALLOWED TO RUN.
However, after all the blood sweat and tears it took to get me back to running (single leg squats are, and will always be, hideous-my left leg is just not designed to do that) I was expecting to be Usain Bolt and the reality was so far from that, it was a disaster. A disaster that my brain was not ready to process. I have been plugging away at Couch to 5K once I was given the green light on running again by my physio, I had to run on very flat, short grass as I did not trust my balance after three months of not using my left leg and felt like Bambi on jelly so had to stay well clear of potholes, dodgy pavements and mismatched footpath so the Wimbledon Centre Court style grass felt like the right place to start.
Okay so that is all well and good, I felt like I could stand upright without falling over and crashing down. So to begin running was where the problems started. With all the physio the focus was now on my magnificent new gait, long strides and knees high so I could clear the ground- simple. In my mind I was bounding along with nice high knees, excellent clearance arms pumping just like any normal person (or Usain Bolt). How wrong I was as you can see from the video. Clearly there is disconnect between my legs and brain which I was not ready for, my own perception and reality were worlds apart and it was a strange place to be. Normal running is not feasible for me and I know that but I just did not expect to look like I do in this video. In reality my immediate response is to question why I would bother running if I look like that (not that this is something anyone has ever said but we are all our own worst critic so I had to voice it although it was not as stylish voice over, much more of a garbled mess which only I could understand). I was shocked that despite all my work on long strides to make sure that I had clearance with my left leg to balance my gait. I would still insist on dragging my left leg like it was made of lead and my arms just looked like a wooden puppet without any use.
I was not ready to accept that was what I looked like and then seeing my walking was just a whole other shocker-who really wants to look like that? I now start to understand why bouncers at university clubs thought I was totally beyond gone when I had only had a couple of drinks. I then questioned all the interactions I had in the past with people who I don’t know and made me think I almost need a sign on my forehead to explain this crazy lady walking across the restaurant and why I look the way that I do, or that cerebral palsy (CP) needs to be the first thing I mention after my name when I meet someone. I was completely thrown by it and felt like the Centre Court grass had been pulled out from under my very unstable legs. And you know the mad thing, I requested this video as I wanted to see what else I needed to work on, I mean how much punishment do I really want?
I am so proud of the fact I have always done whatever I want to do and I know I have CP but I just completely did not recognise the fact that I look different as a result of that (bit slow off the mark I know only 26 years down the line here) but you know what-there is no normal, everyone is unique and that is what makes us such brilliant and wonderful humans. It has been a tricky few weeks giving myself this pep talk but I am getting there slowly. There is no point hiding from every photo or video there ever was of me, I am who I am and I can’t do anything about that as we only have one body so I just need to suck it up and make the most of it. The fact I am getting out running and walking is something to be hugely proud of so who actually cares what it looks like? If people do care they are clearly not people I want to bother with. I just need to work on convincing myself of that as it would be pretty useful and may come in handy one day.