Katherine Hayton | Back on track
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26 Oct / Back on track

I think there’s something wrong with my body. Not the obvious, easy to view flaws. No. I’m talking about a problem that runs much deeper.

There’s something wrong with my ankles.

I know that until I lose a bit of weight these should more properly be referred to as cankles, but aside from that even. Pain. That’s the problem. Pain.

If I so much as sit down for an hour without moving, my ankles protest vehemently about supporting my body and shifting it’s bulk from one place to another. If I do continue to walk my weight about they grow used to the idea and their cries subside to a deep mutter, but then something else happens.

More pain. In my knees. They get to a point where I can feel the individual pieces of cartilage moving against each other. Or rubbing against each other. It’s usually a deep-seated ache, but there are occasional flashes of white, hot pain where I can easily imagine my knee cap popping in one direction, and my knee folding in the other.

I shouldn’t write things like this down. My face just went white. Other people’s pain, not a problem. I can torture a crime victim to death over hours or days without blinking twice with the best of them, but my own? I feel faint at the thought of a splinter piercing my flesh, let along a total knee collapse.

My solution thus far has been to stop exercising. If I don’t stand and move about I don’t have these problems.

I must say it worked very well in the short-term, but I’m starting to get the feeling that as a long-term solution it may be falling a bit short. Although I don’t have to put up with the painful jointy bits of my legs as often, for the times that I do have to move them it’s getting worse.

With this in mind I took a lovely walk this morning on the Port Hills of Christchurch. Lovely in the scenery and surrounds and soul-tingling bird songs that is. Not so much in the grunting panting-ness of me trying to move my increasingly elderly body up and down paths that would more be suited to a mountain goat.

Yeah, okay. More suited to an old mountain goat with fading eyesight and wobbly legs who could no longer navigate the thin hilly bits of mountainside and therefore needed the practically boulevard-sized paths of an urban dweller, but still. A slow dim-witted mountain creature is still more suited to mountains than I am.

We only got through about two-thirds of the regular walk we were doing early in the year before it started to pour with rain all the time and the paths turned to a muddy slip ‘n’ slide. I gave up early in the hope that my legs wouldn’t punish me the rest of the day (a vain hope as it turned out.)

Yet, for all the pain and the discomfort, and the weird itchiness of the backs of my hands for the rest of the day, I have fond memories of my panting ascent and descent of the hill. So much so that as long as it doesn’t rain hard overnight I may be suggesting the same trek again tomorrow morning.

Or I may opt for plan B and loll in front of the telly. We’ll see.

By Katherine Hayton in Katherine Hayton's Blog

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