Day 21/22 – Plymouth to Nowhere in Particular

Well let me give you all an update on my ‘rest’ day yesterday.

Unfortunately much of the morning was spent in the ED at Plymouth Derriford hospital having a scan on my right leg, which over the three previous days of walking had been giving me increasing pain. Every time I placed and lifted my right foot I was experiencing a sometimes-searing pain up my shin beside the tibia. I suspected what the problem was, and if I was right it would not be something I could just walk through. I had to get it checked out.

An x-ray revealed nothing, but the nurse and physio confirmed shin splints and tendonitis. Shin splints is basically a generic term for anterior lower leg pain and is an RSI that often plagues athletes. Had I pressed on it might have developed into a stress fracture.

The rub of it is that it requires a minimum of two weeks rest followed by a gradual reintroduction. I am reminded of when Tommy Cooper said “Doctor, it hurts when I do this”, and the doc replied “Well stop doing it then …”

I’ve been doing sport long enough to know that injuries can happen to anyone at any time – John Merrill himself had a stress fracture in his foot on his first round in 1978, but he managed to get to Scotland before a five week layoff. It doesn’t matter where it happened, injury was always going to be the most likely reason for delay.

Nobody is more diappointed than I am right now.

Although, in any other context, a three-week walk from Shoreham to Plymouth would be a pretty good success.

I realise this will come as a bit of a shock and maybe a disappointment. But I want to thank you all for your messages of support and your contributions to the charities so far. It has meant a huge amount to me to know there is so much goodwill out there.

Please also forgive me if there is radio silence for the next few days. I’m not going to philosophise at the moment; I just need time to process and to understand how I’m feeling. Then I can evaluate the best restart options.

Don’t go away. The project is definitely not off; it is just paused …

… Ken

PS We’re home for rest, rather than staying in situ. Carolyn came down last night and we drove home today after a night in Plymouth.

19 replies
  1. Jan Arnold
    Jan Arnold says:

    Sorry to learn of your injuries and I am sure with rest you will soon be able to resume your adventure. Congratulations for getting as far as you did and I hope you gained some fulfilment from this achievement.

  2. peter clarkepp
    peter clarkepp says:

    Hi Ken,
    so sorry to hear about your setback – it reminded me of a walk I did some twenty years ago in the Lake District when a thought came to me after feeling the pains in my legs – ‘ the mind is willing me but the body is killing me ‘, and that was only after a ten mile hike. I have the utmost respect for what you have achieved so far and I will look forward to your adventures once again when you have recovered. In the meantime take a well earned break.

    Peter clarke, from seven sisters camera club.

    • Ken Scott
      Ken Scott says:

      Thanks Peter. I like the phrase. When it is just a day, maybe one can push through it, knowing there’s a rest tomorrow. But this is altogether different and I’m pleased I listened, albeit frustrated that an injury came.

  3. Jean Seddon
    Jean Seddon says:

    And the messages of support and goodwill will continue to follow you wherever you are on your journey. This recovery will just be a part of it and you’ll be on your way again. I can empathise completely, as someone who likes to be on the move and out in the great outdoors. I sustained the same injury walking the Camino de Santiago and it required all my restless energy to be redirected to healing my leg so that I could eventually continue on my way. That was two years ago and I’m walking everywhere again and injury free. I hope your healing goes well. Beun Camino!

    • Ken Scott
      Ken Scott says:

      Muchas gracias por el buen camino. Yes it is tempting to press on and try to walk through an injury but I have paid the price before for not listening to my body. Cheers.

  4. Heath
    Heath says:

    Hearty congratulations on reaching Plymouth, Ken, despite setbacks and uncompromising weather.
    Rest well. I do hope all will soon be fine again!! Heath.

  5. Ruari
    Ruari says:

    Sorry to hear of your injuries – sound all very painful. Rest up and get better, resuming your marathon expedition when up to it. Take care.


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