Well, not quite, and emotionally and physically it was a roller coaster for me! The terrain on Saturday was difficult for me, slippy flat slabs have been laid to prevent erosion on the Pennine Way, and I could feel myself tensing as we traversed them, the slight drizzle adding to their greasy surface.
David's short cuts, whilst trimming substantial portions off the length of the walk, involved plopping in and out of peat bogs - a bit like walking through gigantic vats of Christmas pudding - and then horrible tussocky long grass, where I could never quite tell where my feet were landing. The subsequent constant twisting and modifying my footing played havoc with my hip (replaced a couple of years ago), my leg ached and I found myself using my sound right leg as a 'jack' to go uphill, and a brake coming down. That also meant using my right arm to compensate for the left leg, and by the time we got to the trip point above Doctors Gate, I was so miserable it was all I could do not to burst into tears. We re-joined the main path, all my aches and pains fled and my confidence began to return.
Luckily, that was the end of the day's walking, as it would be too dark to go over Kinder, and time for some serious considerations.
I knew that I had to be sensible about my own health, that nothing was worth losing the mobility I'd fought so hard for, but after some team talks, David assured us that we'd crossed the worst of the terrain, gave us some top teambuilding tips, and I mentally prepared myself for the following day.
Which was great!
Ok, it was uphill - in some places almost vertical - and apparently my face was a picture when the hill above the dam was pointed out - 'What - all of it?????"
But I managed a reasonable speed uphill, particularly as I was made to go in front, and I felt so much better that the previous day was beginning to feel like a horrible dream.
The weekend was a huge mental and physical step forward.
We couldnt have done it without either of our men - Al was the most amazing support driver, sourced fresh doughnuts (on a Sunday!), fixed the van, put the heating and the kettle on, drove us up and down titchy little roads without complaint, and all the way there and back - over 530 miles.
And David also needs a medal for keeping us on track both physically and mentally - snapping us back to reality when our silly songs and ditties threatened to get out of hand, and constantly informing and guiding us across the huge variety of terrain, which he knows like the back of his hand.
We are re-doing it in a fortnight. Trying an alternative route over the first half, checking our navigation over Kinder again. We'll have Al, but we won't have David.......