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Take a Hike Challenge

Wed 22nd June

Picture of odometer on my mobile phone showing distance and timePropelled 1.02 km in 10.47 minutes. This was twice round the block. Given what a warm evening it is, I'm very pleased with that! I'm not even that sweaty or out of breath, though my shoulders ache a little. It's amazing how a street that looks completely flat can actually have a slight incline and you really notice it in a wheelchair!

Thurs 23rd June

Picture of my phone showing the odometer readingThat was exhausting! We took the opportunity to vote whilst doing tonight's hike. It was dead easy on the way there - slightly downhill. You've guessed it though... on the way back it's all uphill! Not only that, our polling station is on a new residential estate and there is a serious lack of dropped curbs.
So on the way there, I could have been speedy but kept having to slow down to wait for Neil but on the way back, I was really slow!
So final stats - 1.26 km in 19.32 minutes. Happy that I've increased my distance but my left arm is going to ache like mad tomorrow.
Fri 24th June

Picture of dark clouds and a rainbowThe weather hasn't made its mind up yet but I have. Instead of going for an outdoor roll, this evening I walked around Aldi on crutches, including a 5 minute queue at the till. For me, that's quite an achievement! Back to the rolling tomorrow - whatever the weather.
Sat 25th June

Today we met up with our sons in Scarborough and had a walk along the foreshore, past the Spa and round to where the old outdoor pool used to be, many years ago. It was much further than I realised. I was aiming to achieve my 2k target a day early and the whole of Scarborough must have heard me shrieking when I realised how far I'd gone! 2.8 km is more than I thought I was capable of. You can see by the speed - 2.4 mph - that it was slow, but... :D

I wonder what made it so easy to go further without feeling tired. I think, exercising with others makes such a difference. Also, for me, being right next to sea helps keep me relaxed and happy. And going somewhere, rather than just round the block - that might be why it was easier.
Sun 26th June
2,000 km
I was really tired today, even doing a short distance. Neil and I went for a quick nip around the estate to get some fresh air so that it looks like I've at least made the effort. I'll be honest, if it wasn't for this challenge, I'd have gone to sleep on the sofa instead. That's why this is so good - it's making me get out and keep going. Okay, so today I only managed 1.31 km but after yesterday, I'm quite pleased with that. I did go a bit faster today though - 3.19 mph. 
Mon 27th June

Ooops! That wasn't supposed to happen. I've had a long day at work, came home and had dinner and then fell fast asleep. Woke up just as the football started and it would have been rude not to watch the match (it could be the last one). The only consolation is that I did swim this morning before work, so I have had some exercise. Must do better tomorrow!
Tues 28th June

Odometer showing that I've rolled 2.83 kmI feel like I've really achieved something this evening! I only made myself go out because I missed yesterday. It's chucking it down! Neil and I walked to the next village and back, with a lap of the cemetery in the middle. We did 2.83 km with an average speed of 2.72 mph, which I feel so proud of! Doing this distance on Saturday, slowly, in the dry wasn't that tough but with pace in the rain, it felt like a proper challenge. 
Wed 29th June

This evening, we've added howling gales to the torrential rain. Also, Canine Partners had mentioned that one of their partnerships was on the One Show and as I'm on their waiting list, I really wanted to watch it. So instead of a long roll, we decided to go to the supermarket and combine my roll with some shopping. My GPS odometer won't work in the supermarket. I don't even have a phone signal there! That is annoying because I don't know how far I went but we were in there for about half an hour and kept moving for most of that time. Hope to be back outdoors tomorrow but I'll keep it short so I can do a long run on Friday.
Thurs 30th June

Odometer showing 1.92 km in 20.54 minutes.Just returned from a ride out on my own. I have noticed that I go faster when I'm not with other walkers. The conclusion I must draw from this, is that non-wheelchair users are disabled. Yes, that's right, because I can go at a sensible pace but they can only go slowly. Well, that's my theory and I'm sticking to it! I managed to beat the rain this evening too, which was a relief, except that I was roasted by the time I got back. Anyway, for a 'short run', 1.92 km isn't bad and an average speed of 3.42 mph. I'm quite pleased with that because I didn't particularly feel like going out but once I got out, I enjoyed it.
I can't wait until tomorrow! My new wheels should be here by the time I get home from work. I'm planning to leave a little early so we can go and test them out before driving to my son's place to collect him for the weekend.
Fri 1st July
3,000 km
I've come to the conclusion that time is my biggest challenge. I finished work early to come home and get my new Loopwheels. I put them on my chair and went for a whizz round the block (about 500m) before coming home to await a landscaper who was booked to do us a quote. I thought then I could squeeze in a nice long hike before heading off to collect Andy from uni. In reality, the landscaper got delayed and during the only window during which we could have got out, we had a cracking thunderstorm. I love thunderstorms but wouldn't fancy being out in a metal chair during one. So today's total was 500m. :(
Sat 2nd July

Odometer showing that I travelled 1,86 kmYep, definitely time is going to make it difficult to build up to greater distances. Unusually for a Saturday, I've been at work today - me, Neil and Andy - all together. This morning was quite physical work for me with lots of moving equipment around, leaving me quite tired. By the time we got home and ate, it was quite late and we've got other things on tonight too. We managed a 25 minute hike, covering 1.87 km, which is still a long way compared to what I could manage two weeks ago, but a bit disappointing. I'm thinking I might have to rethink my goals a little. Watch this space.
Sun 3rd July

Odometer showing 1.38 kmThis afternoon, we visited Cusworth Hall in Doncaster. The screenshot of the odometer doesn't tell the whole story. It doesn't give the temperature, for a start. It must have been at least 25oC, if not more in the sun. I started my odometer when we left the car and first of all, we headed for the Hall - there's a fantastic museum there which is all free - and about half an hour later, I realised that I had no GPS, so the distance had stopped at 0.2 km and a speed of 0.3 mph, so I cancelled that. We spent a good couple of hours looking round the halls/museum. Then, after a milkshake (and a piece of cake), we went for a walk in the grounds. I managed 1.38 km, after which I was really tired and way too hot. The paths are mostly good but it's quite hilly and Neil had to help me going up and down. I've discovered that the rubber pushrims are awful for going downhill because they won't slide through my hands. I'm going to have to find a solution for that! So, I've no idea how far we actually travelled but it must be 1.38 + 0.2 + whatever we did indoors km.  We would have loved to have gone down to the lake in this photo but there were no paths and grass on a steep hill is just too difficult. We'll definitely do a return visit though in the winter or early spring, when it's not so hot.
Picture of meadows and lake down in the valley below Cusworth Hall.
Mon 4th July

Distance measured for each floor = 1.8 km
Bit of change today. Because I worked all day Saturday, I've got a rare midweek day off. It's now too hot for me to enjoy outdoor exercise. It just makes my tremors and my balance a lot worse. So this morning, I went to Meadowhall. I didn't do much shopping but it's a great place to get indoor exercise. There are frequent ramps which make me work that little bit harder and there are toilets and places to get a drink at regular intervals. My GPS odometer doesn't work indoors, so I used Google maps to get an idea of how far I travelled. I started at the car and travelled anticlockwise all the way round, including all the little alleyways, upstairs and downstairs. Allowing for two or three trips inside shops, I estimate that I did at least 3.6 - 4 km. Of course, it's much easier in a shopping centre because the floor is so lovely and smooth but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Tues 5th July

Poorly. Hope to be back soon.
Wed 6th July

Thurs 7th July

Feeling quite a bit better today, though my hayfever and asthma are giving me a rough ride. To ease me back in gently, we went shopping in Hull and found some prices for stone and bricks for the garden. I don't know about distance but it feels good to be back up and moving again. The weather also seems to be having a mixed week. We got caught in the deluge that followed this picture - but fortunately we were back in the car by then!

Fri 8th July

Went out for a walk-walk quite late this evening. I found the day quite muggy and anyway, with work, collecting my mum-in-law from the station and going out for dinner, I was busy. It was nice, though, just as the sun was setting, to pop out for a walk with my crutches. I think we went about 500m, which is a challenge for me. I managed to maintain a better-than-usual pace for most of it though and then came back and slept like a log!
Sat 9th July
To just keep getting out each day
I had been looking forward to a fantastically long walk around the seafront in Scarborough, before going to my cousin's leaving party but it rained and the other people I was with weren't up for getting wet, so I ended up spending the whole day sitting either in the car or at the party. It was a lovely day, seeing family but in terms of exercise... dreadful!
Sun 10th July

It's got to the point where I can't cope with the heat outdoors, so we're finding indoor places to walk. This means I can't measure distance but I am enjoying going to new places. Today, we went to Hull and looked around the Streetlife Museum. It was really good. Most of Hull's museums are free. We had to park a way off and walk in and then it was quite a long walk around the museum. It's one of those that's like a little town, back in time. So, as well as a lot of propelling, I've done more than my fair share of wheelies over the cobbles.

Disaster of the day - my freewheel has broken. :( It's been playing up for a few weeks but today, there was a bang and now it won't attach. Thank goodness it's still under guarantee! 
Mon 11th July

Odometer showing 1.25 kmThis evening, the temperature has come down a little and it isn't raining yet, so we took the opportunity and dashed out for a hike around the park. Well, actually, Neil strolled round slowly with his mum, who is staying this week, and I sped round (3.67 mph) twice and worked up a sweat. Actually, I would have liked to do a third lap but we've got things to do at home. Anyway, it was nice to get outside and do 1.25 km.

I was looking at the brief today, just as a reminder and the aim is to walk every day... or in my case, roll every day. With the exception of the 2 days that I was poorly, I have done that, so I'm quite pleased. Today is day 20 so I'm two thirds of the way through my challenge.
Tues 12th July

Very long day at work. Came home, had dinner and then spend several hours finishing a really good book. No exercise. Disastrous day.
Wed 13th July

Another long day at work. I've spent most of the last two days in my wheelchair and have hardly walked at all. So this evening we did a lap of the estate and I walked... on crutches. My left leg is quite painful and I can't say it was a pleasant experience but I know I'll have better mobility tomorrow as a result, so it was worth it. 
Thurs 14th July

Odometer showing 3.46 kmWe nearly didn't go out this evening, as the sky is pretty black and looks like the heavens are about to open. I was feeling a bit down though, as I haven't had a proper hike for a couple of days. After a bit of procrastinating, we went into town, taking the route along the river. The aim was to get to Asda and buy milk for cereals in the morning, but I was so hot and sweaty when we got there, that a bottle of water was the first priority.

So, as you can see, we walked 3.46 km, which is the furthest I've managed yet. It was easy enough on the way there but on the way back, we cut through some back streets and they were really uneven and had bad cambers. It was slow going! Once we made it back onto the river path, I had to keep talking to myself to keep going... "rolling, rolling, just keep rolling..." - like on Finding Nemo. Then I started singing 500 miles until I couldn't roll any further. I walked the last 250m, using my wheelchair as a walker. 
Fri 15th July

Other than normal daily activity, I didn't do very much today. My shoulders were still a little tired and achy from last night and it was quite a humid evening, so I had an early night.
Sat 16th July

What a busy day! I did lots of exercise today all over the place:

  1. Visited a new bi-folding doors showroom and went round there. They hadn't thought much about accessibility though, so I did some wheelies and bouncing up and down steps, as well as propelling around.
  2. Went to the White Rose Centre. It was packed! Shopping centres are great for propelling around - nice smooth floors and few hills - but all the sudden stops for people who just walk out in front of you, really keep me on my toes. 
  3. Went to a carvery for dinner. Carpeted throughout, which means hard work propelling. Carpet is like the ultimate resistance training.
  4. Visited Snozone at Xscape to talk to one of the instructors about adaptive skiing lessons. It'll be much better than driving all the way to Manchester. 
I've no idea how far I travelled but I slept like a log, so I must have tired myself out. 
Sun 17th July

Walked round Lidl on crutches but otherwise, a bit of a lazy day. I think the prospect of a hot week set me off wilting.
Mon 18th July
Helle - 27oC
Helle is the Finnish word for when the temperature goes above 25oC. It is then deemed to be a 'hot' day and carries risks for the young, the old and anyone with health conditions. As helle makes my essential tremor worse and I don't cope well with heat anyway, I probably won't even attempt to get out on these days. Instead, I'll aim to swim on two of these mornings, at our local pool.

On Monday morning, I swam for about 20 minutes. I did 16 lengths (400m) and only really stopped because I had to go to work. It has been a really hot day though, so I'm glad I swam and had a freezing cold shower to start me off. Hoping to do the same tomorrow.
Tues 19th July
Helle - 30oC
Wed 20th July
Helle - 28oC
Thurs 21st July

Still hot but not as bad as the last three days. I decided I needed some cooler work clothes, so we went to Lakeside shopping outlet in Doncaster. I've never been there before but it looked very clean and new. More importantly, it's all level access and nice and flat. As well as doing some shopping, we walked/rolled for a good hour or so. It was evening but because of the heat, it felt like mid-afternoon. Afterwards, we went for a pizza, and instead of moving the car, we walked there and back, leaving the car at the shops. This challenge has certainly made me more aware of being active and of the benefits of getting outdoors every day... well... most days. 

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