The 8th June 2015 is a day I remember well, it was the day I bought my first Ordnance Survey map... Why would I remember the day I bought an Ordnance Survey Map? Well, it was also the day I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.
Why would I buy a map on the day I was diagnosed? I could have bought anything to mark the day? (so to speak). I was given an excellent piece of advice “replace what you can’t do, with what you can” - my symptoms had started in 2013 and unfortunately it meant I had to quit running. I decided to get a walking companion, my Cockerjack Dexter - it is fair to say he has his own escapades. Together we began our adventures to explore the great county we live in.
By the time I was diagnosed, I had been coping with weird symptoms for two years - being in pain, struggling to walk - there was no way that MS was going to beat me. Me and Dexter had been on some lovely picturesque walks; around Buttermere, the climb up Latrigg and Cat Bells. But I knew there was much more to the open playground of the Lake District, I just needed a bit of confidence. My map enabled me to explore, experiment and experience the Lake District for myself.
I may not be the person that climbs the highest peaks, walks the furthest or completes routes in the quickest times, but I am the person that gets out there and does something no matter how big or small, because realistically there may come a day when I can’t. The map also allows me to plan my walks - on a good day I can walk further, but I always make sure there is the all-important escape route, just in case things go (excuse the pun) downhill. Everyone has limits and they know how far they can push, it’s exactly the same for me but mine change on a daily basis. Every walk I complete I face my own personal challenge.
The map is as important to me as Harry Potter’s wand is to him, it gives me the ability to overcome whatever is in my path.
This is definitely the start of my journey not the end…