Blog, Mental Health, Outdoors, Self Discovery

One foot in front of the other

It’s Tuesday. I’ve caffeinated my way through my piano lesson and am now munching my way through a pile of vegetable sticks and houmous. Somehow this has randomly become my favourite lunch. I feel like after the yuletide period my body was crying out for vegetables, vitamins, anything green… so I’m well into the crunchy veg stage at the moment. Not too sure how long it’ll last but I’m just going with it and enjoying eating something that’s not brown or instant.

Another thing I’ve been finding myself doing, and what I really wanted to talk about in this post, is walking. I never even intended it to be a ‘thing’, but Ive found myself wandering around moorland, valleys and hillsides, looking at lakes and clouds, avoiding dog poops, and generally having a great time. I didn’t intend to start walking more, really…. but it just happened.

The last few years have been spent in a sort of suspended animation. An existence, not a life. Once I was told I had CFS, that was it for any sort of exercise. That diagnosis began a chain of thoughts that ran around my head, getting bigger and bigger. I can’t exercise because it will make me worse. I can’t push myself. I’m stuck here now forever. Going from being a personal trainer, pretty fit and moving A LOT, to overweight, depressed and with no way to exercise it out. I feel like I’ve been hibernating the last few years.

I’m not sure what has suddenly made me start moving more. I sure as hell felt that I couldn’t do anything near this over the last years, but suddenly a switch has flicked and now I’m eating greens and going outside? Just what’s going on?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m really enjoying it. Even though it’s not running up hills and doing squat jumps on rocks any more, just that act of putting one foot in front of the other is making me feel so much better. But at the back of my mind is a terrifying thought that it’s all going to come falling back down. I’m waiting for the next energy crash. I’m waiting for my mood to drop. I feel I’m balancing a line and I don’t want to push it… but at the same time my body feels as though this is exactly what I’m meant to be doing now. I had a time for rest. Now it’s time to start again, fresh. Walking this new path.

Weirdly, I’ve been doing more ‘stuff’ too. I just feel like my mind has shed a few pounds and my eyes are starting to see lighter colours in the world. I’ve cooked tea, done some tidying and even managed to wash up every day. Tiny things, I know, but huge compared to what I’ve felt able to do previously. It’s as though one cycle has ended, somehow, somewhere. Now a new phase is beginning, unplanned but powerful.

Maybe it’s because it’s unplanned that it seems to be working. Slowly, like the earth in winter, things have been turning under the surface, infinitely small, unnoticeable day to day. Building, building….until that tipping point is reached. Small things adding up to a shift. I can’t describe it. I feel new.

Of course, the odd blip happens, but now I know it’s a blip. The odd tired day still occurs, but I know it will pass. I’m just so scared of losing this momentum now. The last few years have been, to put it mildly, shit. I’d do anything not to go back there. I push that to the back of my mind – will thinking about it make it happen? Is this another way of putting pressure on myself, overthinking something I really should just let go?

Something different is pulling me away from this sort of thinking now, though. I recognise those thoughts whirling their way into consciousness and choose to focus somewhere else. Focus on creating, reading, meditating, gardening…and yes, walking.

One foot in front of the other, I walk away from the past, tiny step by tiny step. I breathe in deeply and the sweet moorland wind brings me joy and hope and change.




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