I’ve decided that I’m very much a country person. Having been confined to pavement and tarmac these past few months has found me longing for the footpath, stile and corn field more than you can imagine.
As I blogged about previously, my Doctor forbid me to go Geocaching. This was a massive blow because I felt ready and to be told that no, I couldn’t felt like a step backwards. The legs are so badly damaged that even a scratch would have difficulty healing, and would in turn lead to a high risk of another infection. I’ve been miserable for a week about it.
But then I did some thinking about this. At all stages I have been sensible and proactive. I somehow managed to find the razor’s edge between exercising the leg and resting it so that the actual original hole, despite being the size of a tea plate, has knitted very nicely. It’s not a cause for arrogance but it is a sign I know my own body.
So I chose a very easy geocaching circuit just outside Guildford, Surrey and decided to do it at the weekend. The plan was that I take it at my own pace and that at any stage if it got too much I would turn around and go back to the car. I did my own mini risk assessment and worked out that if I was sensible, careful and took precautions, there wasn’t any more risk than walking round the block back home.
And you know what… I loved it.
Sure it was difficult. Getting to some caches took time and some thinking outside the box. Luckily none were particularly difficult hides to get to. There was also a 0.1 mile stretch that took me 40+ minutes because it was overgrown and there were brambles (resulting in me sweeping a foot in front of me with stick, shuffling forward and repeating.)
I found all the caches but the real victory for me was completing the course. There were several points where I thought I might have to turn back but ultimately proved OK. It was only a 4 mile circuit but it felt like 20 and I was left shattered for a couple of days afterwards. Took me many more hours than it would normally but that’s fine as I’ve never been the speediest of cachers (I certainly wasn’t last weekend).
I feel SO much better for it and I was glad I decided to trust my own instincts. That’s not to say I am going to be rushing out to do another series any time soon but I’ll be keeping an eye open for something along a bridleway with easy terrain ratings.