Count along with me

10, 9…10, 9…8, 9…8…9

You may be wondering why I am counting out of order and starting off my entry with some random numbers. Well, this is the way I talk to myself when I walk.

I’m not exactly sure when it first started. Maybe a couple of years ago, but I think more than that.

You see, I have to think about every step I take. If I don’t think before I walk I tend to lose my balance and fall over, which isn’t such a good thing and it can lead to external and internal (ego) bruises. The less falls, the better I say.

Anyway, somewhere along the way I started to count numbers in my head as a way to keep me motivated and focused. And amazingly it works most of the time. It started off with 1 and finishing with 10, but now, for some reason, I am down to 10, 9 or 8, 9. This keeps me extremely focused on a two step movement, especially when I am walking up or down a hill.

It’s a safety system I’ve set up and I think at one point I told one of my doctors and they said keep it up if it works.

It may sound like a good plan, and it is on a simple level, but then I have to take into consideration the environment around me: a crack in the footpath, a piece of rubbish in the way or a gusty wind trying to push me forward or back. Then I might be talking to a person and get caught up in the conversation, so the numbers fade away and I lose focus. Or I might have something on my mind.

The list of distractions is endless, so I won’t bore you with any details. The reason why I am writing this entry is that it’s been a year of thinking. Lots of stuff has been on my mind and most of it happens when I am on my own walking along the street. This very morning when I got out the car and made my way to work I was thinking about something and so the numbers weren’t there to keep me going. Funnily enough I didn’t fall and I survived the walk. More importantly, when I was in New York I did a lot of thinking and AMAZINGLY I had no major falls.

Sorry if this entry is boring for you, but I wanted to write it because I want you all to know what it’s like for a person with a disability and how hard the smallest thing, like walking half a block, can be.

So, when you pass me by on the street, don’t be surprised if I jump a little or topple over, just yell out 10, 9 and I’ll get back on track.

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One thought on “Count along with me

  1. I think that you are amazing to find ways to keep you from falling. It doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks, just what you wish to achieve – and it seems incredible. My Mom falls for no reason. She has Parkinson’s, but it is a different symptom than that and the doctor’s have no idea what it is. I’m going to research this and find out more. Thank you for your inspiration and helping people learn to stay positive through any thing!

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