Cold Saturday morning at Balmoral. Water temp down to about 15ºc. Breathtaking when I first got in. Went hard after good night’s sleep. Jimbal wrapped around my left wrist close to the finish. Didn’t notice it much during the swim however it really blew up in the hot shower. While there’s lots of them, I don’t think they are very serious in intent this year as they are not all that painful. Barry is still nursing a sore hip flexor tendon. I decided to make it a musical day and had the headphones on the whole way. I also carried a small DAC (digital to analogue converter) with me for the first time. It fits easily in my pocket. It was a solitary walk which, once upon a time, didn’t bother me.
It does now. It’s really very enjoyable having people to chat with while I walk. The crippling shyness I’ve had all my life, is always going to be with me, I guess and has coloured many of my life’s experiences. However part of the journey over the last eight or nine years is to learn how enjoyable human company can be. We just have to realise that people like us as much as we like them. I do not have to be frightened. I guess that’s the basis of friendship but it’s something I’ve struggled all my life to learn. It was interesting the music I chose to listen to. Michelle Shocked, Emmylou Harris’s Elite Hotel and her Live at the Ryman. Some John Prine and of course Nanci Griffith. I think it was worth breaking my leg just to discover Nanci Griffith’s music. The world can blame the baby boomers for many things – a fair bit of environmental catastrophe, over- population and a predilection for starting wars in strange places, for no apparent reason. But no one can ever doubt the legacy of music that the baby boomers leave behind. On my journeys this year across my musical collection, I’m amazed that people like Emmylou Harris and John Prine, who I first heard of in the late 1970s still resonate today. I first heard some of that music 38 years ago. Nancy Griffith is so much in the tradition. I thanked Steve Jobs on the walk for giving us portable music.
That old capitalist hippie, sure did us a favour. Born in 1955, he was only two years younger then me. Definitely a fellow boomer our most famous one. Today on the walk I concentrated on stepping up with my bad leg. Very difficult it was. I can step down with my good leg almost automatically now as I’ve been concentrating on it for so long. But stepping up with my bad leg and taking the weight of the torso and the pack solely on that leg, was very very difficult. Psychologically everything encourages you not to do it. Your brain tells you to protect your injured leg. You have to take your brain out of this equation. I think one of the major errors that people make in recovery from a broken leg is to protect it by favouring their good leg. There must be many people who end up after 6 to 12 months of rehab with their bad leg completely recovered and the hip and knee of the good leg injured from overuse. It’s a strange business.
Arrived at Manly at 2.15pm for a 14.4 km walk in 4¼ hours. Slow steady, plod. I’m slowly getting it back. Pack weight was no problem and didn’t hurt my injured knee. The walk was a sparkling harbour, a clear blue sky, cool air and lots of good music. It was a splendid day in the world’s most beautiful outdoor rehab clinic. I felt great at the end and the day lacked only company to make it truly memorable. I rewarded myself with some toast and a cup of coffee at Manly Wine bar. Read Saturday’s paper and thought about life. Not a bad way to spend Saturday morning!