After two days in London last week, schlepping along the underground and the miles in between with a heavy overnight bag,  I thought I’d done very well.  Until I read about 81-year-old Ian Waddell, who’d covered 17 miles and a 5,000 ft ascent in the South Wales Three Peaks Challenge, using sticks and crutches because he has osteoarthritis and joint pain.  He’s also had hip and knee surgery.

He started out for the first peak at midnight, using sticks and crutches for support, and accompanied by three friends.  At daybreak he began to see the size of his challenge.  ‘The ground was extremely rocky, there was no foot-path, and then we had to come down the same way,’ he said, and ‘the Sugar Loaf was just a little pointy thing in the distance!’   Afterwards he went home, slept for 14 hours straight and when he woke had a fry-up breakfast.

At the finish, he told his friends, ‘never again’, but they said they’d heard him say that before.   The friends completed the challenge in aid of children’s hospice Ty Hafan.  You can read about it here –

I’ll never complain about the streets of London again.

Louise Morse

Louise Morse MA (CBT) is media and external relations manager for the Pilgrims’ Friend Society. She is a writer and speaker, and author of books on issues of old age, including dementia, published by Lion Monarch and SPCK. She is a cognitive behavioural therapist, and her Masters’ dissertation examined the effects of caring for a loved one with dementia on close relatives.

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