James’ News & Progress – 29 October 2009

The week started with a focus session concentrating predominantly on kneeling and core stability which are necessary to progress my walking. Currently, I am finding it quite difficult to maintain balance, however, I do have the strength to hold myself upright with limited support from my arms. The main benefit of this kneeling exercise is that it takes my feet and calves out of the equation. This is important because my right foot is highly inflexible and when fatigued it has a tendency to point downwards making it very difficult to balance. Similar to trying to stand on your tippy-toes.

I was also lucky enough to be invited to a slide show prepared by my sister and her trekking buddies who recently completed the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea. For those who are not familiar with this, the Kokoda Track is a 96 km endurance trek through the jungle and was one of the key frontiers on which Australian troops fought and defeated the Japanese during WWII. By all reports, this is one of the toughest challenges in the trekking world. So much so that unfortunately a number of people have lost their lives on the journey over the last 12 months.

Although the girls found it extremely tough in places, I’m happy to say that they all returned home in one piece which is a testament to their strong characters and determination. That said, each of the girls were nursing a few aches and pains. Their months of training were obviously key to their eventual success. Peter the Puffin thoroughly enjoying himself given the lack of leg work.

On the medical front this week, it was time to subject myself to both the swine flu and pneumonia jabs. Given my aversion (“clinical phobia”) to needles, I desperately pleaded with the nurse to inject me in a region where sensation has been lost. Luckily, after consultation with the GP, my thighs were identified as the perfect target zones and any further drama was averted.

A trip to the movies to see Michael Jackson’s “This Is It” was the perfect end to the week and reaffirmed in my mind that he was the greatest entertainer that has ever lived.