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Roads to Recovery


Red
It’s my longest solo drive in a couple of years; I’ve dropped Tom off at St David’s for the start of his 55 mile bike ride, a training session for his RideLondon 100 charity ride to raise funds for Pancreatic Cancer UK. Now all I have to do is drive home. I still feel very anxious about driving but a couple of weeks ago I drove 45 miles by myself to collect Tom from Neyland so I know I can do it. I’m okayish, but still quite nervous… especially when the satnav lady tries to send me in an unexpected direction. I’m still wondering if I’ve done the right thing ignoring her when I notice - to my horror - that a policeman at the side of the road is pointing a speed gun at me. Even worse, it looks as if I’m just over the 30 mile speed limit. I think about turning round at the next roundabout and going back to beg for forgiveness, but manage to talk myself out of it. I’m so cross with myself I forget to be nervous so the rest of the drive is easy! I get home, ring my daughters and Tom, have a cry. Everyone does their best to make me feel better, but it’s another road block in my struggle to overcome my fear of driving.

Amber
After a very busy couple of weeks with work and family commitments, it’s high time I caught up with my dear friend and running buddy, Helen, who is slowly recovering from her horrible injury. It’s the first time I’ve contemplated getting in the car since the speed gun incident three weeks ago, but since nothing’s arrived in the post (yet) I feel reasonably confident that I’m not on a ‘wanted’ poster somewhere. I manage the journey, a three point turn and reversing into Helen’s drive - and when I see Helen’s smiling face, I’m so pleased that my fears haven’t held me back. It’s lovely to catch up and to see Helen making small but steady steps towards a full recovery.

Green
It’s been a very long wait, and poor Bee has really suffered in the meantime, but she’s finally had her operation. The difference is immediate and it’s incredibly moving to hear Bee’s singing along to songs she’s never heard before, repeating new words and breathing easily. She’s had a few ‘poorly’ days getting over the op, but a little art therapy has helped and has resulted in this stunning and uncannily accurate portrait of Nana and Grandad.


And finally…
I wrote Running Kind to encourage anyone who would like to run not to let their fears hold them back and give it a try. Yes, more sales and a bit of chart domination wouldn’t go amiss, but every time someone writes to tell me that they’ve started running, or returned to running because of my book I feel so pleased to have helped them along on their running journey. Do please keep telling me how you’re getting on. Happy running!


Comments

Angela Britnell said…
You're an incredibly strong woman and keep proving it over and over. Don't let the speed cops get you down! Wonderful news on Bee - the son of a friend of mine had a cochlear implant and was astonished by the noise of the washing machine - scary as well as amazing at first.
Maggie Christie said…
I think they'd send you on a speed awareness course rather than put you on a wanted poster, but I know that sinking feeling when they point those things at you. I was over the 30mph and didn't get a letter, so fingers crossed you don't too (there is a bit of leeway). I'm glad to hear that both Helen and Bee are on the road to recovery. I'm so impressed with Bee's artistic skills, definitely a recognisable likeness of both of you! I must finish Running Kind and leave a review - as usual I'm reading six books at once so it's a slower process than it should be. And we still need to meet up for that coffee!
Chris Stovell said…
Bee's been a bit overwhelmed by the amount of new sounds, and, as you say, it's been a bit much for her when she's tired but it's wonderful for us to see the difference and hopefully she'll adjust to what is a whole new world. And thank you so much for your lovely comment. I honestly wanted to pull over and weep when I saw the speed gun! Lessons learnt! And yes, grit my teeth and get back behind the wheel! Cxx

Oh, Mags, I cringe every time poor Archie, our postman, walks up our drive. There was a brown envelope today and I went weak at the knees, luckily it was 'only' the car tax reminder. I loved Bee's portrait, especially as she shared her creative process with a running commentary, 'First, a big red face for Grandad...' oh how I laughed until it was my turn! Thanks so much for reading Running Kind. Coffee is definitely on the agenda! xx
Clare Chase said…
I'm so pleased that Bee's doing well! (I love the picture!) And I take my hat off to you for feeling the driving fear and doing it anyway. I must admit I've got a drive coming up that I'm dreading, but I will think of your example, take a deep breath and go for it! I'm still feeling inspired by Running Kind! Thank you again! xx
Chris Stovell said…
Don't go for it as fast as I did, Clare! I don't want you to be on a 'Wanted' poster too! I do hope the drive isn't nearly as bad as you fear. I can recommend a bit of self-CBT; since I realised that I was operating constantly on fear of the very worst thing happening (ie that I would hit every car on the road, be thrown in prison and never see my family again), I've dialled back on the catastrophising and just think about the bit of the road I have some control over, the bit in front of me. Mind you, parking is a whole other world of pain!! I'm thrilled about your running - it really does make writing it worthwhile. I'm passionate about the wonders of running and it's wonderful to hear that you're enjoying it. Thank you! xx
Flowerpot said…
Tried to post a comment several days ago but it evidently didnt appear! So well done on the driving, Chris - I do so sympathise, having been there, but do keep going. Every attempt is a step nearer to the confidence you need to be independent and free from those horrible fears. WELL DONE!! xx
Irish Eyes said…
Fair play to you! You should be very proud of yourself; taking it nice and easy and knowing your route is one of the big things that help I think. Very proud of you and your driving progress.
Margaret James said…
You’re very brave, Chris. You feel the fear and do it anyway. Respect!!!
Margaret James said…
You’re very brave, Chris. You feel the fear and do it anyway. Respect!!!

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