I’m now 38, the same age my mother was when my dad died.
In some ways we’re extremely similar. I was reminded of this today whilst I was waiting to catch the bus.
We had to move away from our home after dad died. It was a farm in the middle of nowhere and mum couldn’t afford the upkeep. We moved to Tenby: an idyllic seaside town in South Wales where the sandy beaches stretch for miles, and the streets pop with colour and life. This was when the claudication in her legs became severe and she’d spend hours walking to try to improve her circulation.
I remember her worrying that she looked weird walking around. That she was too fat to be seen in public. That she was strange to be sitting on the beach alone, without a dog. That people would judge her for sitting on one of the hundreds of public benches, seemingly doing nothing, in all weathers.
And we’re similar in that I too have to sit because my legs are in pain. I too go for a walk without any form of companion. I’m not just fat, I’m morbidly obese.
But the difference between us is that my mum’s experience taught me that it was okay to not be okay, to not be able to stand all the time, to not always have people around me. She was literally less than half my weight when she worried about being too fat. If I held myself to that standard then I would never get out of the house again.
And so it was that I found myself sitting on the floor at the bus stop because I’d arrived 30 seconds after 3 students who availed themselves of the perch. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t begrudge them the use of it. But I was a little annoyed that I’d walked an extra stop to get to the one with the seat, just for it to be full.
And unlike my mother, although I know I looked extremely unusual sitting on the floor, I also didn’t care very much. Because I know it doesn’t matter what other people think.
The plan today was to check on a couple of geocaches in Mumbles whilst ensuring that I had roughly a mile long walk, ending it all with a bit of shopping.
It was hot today.
I sweat far more than any normal person because of my weight. I also refuse to allow that to stop me from doing things. But boy was it pouring off me today.
That is Mumbles.
I can’t help but love returning here.
The first cache I checked on was fine, and right beside it I spotted these wild strawberries. I’m getting quite good at this plant recognition thing. I even recognised these without the help of my handy app.
Cache #2 was also fine. And to make things a little better for me, it is in a shady, wooded glade.
And then came the hill to cache #3. I have photos. But they’re not going on here. Let’s just say that the potential sweat monster became a raging, wheezing reality. And then to top it off I couldn’t find the cache. I spent a few minutes dripping into bits of bushes as I searched foliage looking for the missing container. But that thing has been nabbed.
Oh well, 2 out of 3 isn’t bad.
Unlike this gate I passed.
That is bad.
Day 3 – Mile long walk
Steps taken – 8,640