Struggling to put one foot in front of the other

Struggling to put one foot in front of the other

5th February 2018 0 By David Walker

Last week I wrote about being too fat to fly. This week, I return to Autumn 2016 and the days following the humiliation at a football dinner. If you aren’t already up to speed on this story, please take a few moments to read the other posts in this series so far:

Part 4…

A couple of days had passed since the so-called comedian made jokes about my weight at the football dinner, and the promise I’d made to myself at the kitchen sink was still fresh in my mind.

I was in my colleague Dawn’s office. She’d witnessed the “joke” incident and I had turned to her for help.

Dawn and I work really closely together and we regularly have catch up meetings. Dawn’s suggestion was that we take our chats out of the office and go for a walk.

Our walks wouldn’t be for miles. We’d just shove on our trainers and spend 15-20 minutes pounding the streets around work, having our catch up at the same time.

This was a great idea. So simple but a sure fire way of getting some exercise into my daily routine.

We agreed a time for the following day. The plan was in motion!

3:15 pm on Tuesday arrived and Dawn and I walked across the car park. I had a route in my head that would take us around 20 minutes through residential streets. Our office is on a hill and while some of the nearby streets are steep in places we were starting on a relatively flat bit.

We walked about 300 metres along the road and turned left into a side street and the gradient steepened as we twisted past some houses.

Running out of steam

Up until this point, we had been chatting away but now even just talking was becoming difficult.

I plodded on, doing all I could to hide the fact that I was struggling.

A little over 5 minutes after leaving the office we had to stop. I was knackered. Sweat was pouring off me and I was breathing heavily.

I took some deep breaths and composed myself. After a short break, we continued on, altering the planned route to take us back to the office via a more direct route.

As we approached the end of a cul-de-sac of bungalows I embarrassedly announced that I needed to stop again.

This time it took longer for me to get my breath back and I sat on a garden wall while my heart rate returned to normal. Why was I so tired? Was I really this unfit?

I couldn’t believe it.

We got back to work (eventually!) and I couldn’t hide my disappointment. I felt like such a failure and I went home that night and ate till it hurt.

It’s difficult to remember being that unfit but every now and again when I’m out walking or on my bike, I look 3 or 4 lampposts ahead of where I am and get a flashback to a time when I struggled to cover such a short distance without getting out of breath.

By contrast, this weekend I cycled 8.5 miles along the Great Glen Way on Saturday and walked 6 miles up Saddle Hill near Inverness on Sunday.

Great Glen Way cycle

Relive ‘Great Glen Way’

Saddle Hill walk

Relive ‘Saddle Hill’

There’s absolutely no chance I would be able to do either of those things even 12 months ago.

Unfortunately, back in Autumn 2016, just walking along the street was becoming a challenge. I started to worry that there was no way back from this, how was I supposed to lose weight if I struggled with basic exercise?

It was time to seek professional help.